- Ingredient and flour maker Ardent Mills introduced plans to buy chickpea maker and packer Hinrichs Buying and selling Firm. The acquisition is a part of Ardent’s strategic progress plan to construct out its specialty ingredient capabilities whereas diversifying its present wheat flour enterprise. The deal is predicted to shut in April.
- Hinrichs has been producing chickpea-based elements for over 30 years and operates all through Washington and Montana. Working with Ardent is a chance to entry new markets, scale rapidly, and make the most of its operational experience, in keeping with CEO Phil Hinrichs.
- The deal follows Ardent’s February 2020 acquisition of Andean Naturals’ quinoa sourcing, cleansing, and packaging operation in Yuba Metropolis, California, which it folded into its specialty grain and plant-based elements unit referred to as The Annex.
The plant-based meals development has spurred curiosity in new elements and chickpeas are on the prime of the record thanks partially to their interesting nutrient profile. Ardent cited the development in its deliberate buy of Hinrichs.
“The plant-based meals and beverage market reveals no signal of slowing down. The truth is, we proceed to see important progress as customers look to meals that align with their particular person values — each private and planetary,” stated Shrene White, normal supervisor of The Annex by Ardent Mills. “Ardent Mills has made proactive investments to satisfy this demand. This potential enterprise will allow us to supply various chickpea options to our clients from day one.”
Analysts predict that the worldwide chickpea market might develop at a CAGR of practically 4% by the top of 2022 because of the rising demand for grain-free meals merchandise and plant-based meals.
Chickpeas, that are naturally gluten free, additionally supply a producers a option to serve the gluten-free section, which is exhibiting regular progress and anticipated to achieve $36 billion by 2026, in keeping with Info and Elements. Chickpeas even made Entire Meals Market’s 2021 record of meals development predictions, with purposes together with hummus and falafel in addition to newer merchandise like chickpea flour and breakfast cereals.
Buying Hinrichs offers Ardent a right away foothold within the quickly evolving chickpea elements house. Hinrich’s geographic footprint additionally provides a bonus. Chickpeas are primarily grown in just some places in the USA, in keeping with the Agricultural Advertising and marketing Useful resource Heart, together with Montana (35% of whole manufacturing), Washington (32%), Idaho (19%), and North Dakota (7%). With operations in two of those states, Hinrich offers Ardent nearer entry to chickpea manufacturing.
Ardent had been making quite a few strikes even earlier than the Hinrich acquisition to satisfy its strategic progress plan. On prime of shopping for Andean Naturals’ quinoa facility, it additionally acquired an natural grain elevator in 2019, fashioned an unique partnership with Colorado Quinoa, and invested in a Denver grain mill. In the meantime, it reduce down its wheat flour-milling capability by closing 4 vegetation.
Ardent, which was launched as a three way partnership between Conagra, Cargill, and CHS in 2014, is considered one of many elements producers which are attempting to observe the altering tides. ChickP Protein not too long ago introduced a partnership with Solcius Elements to begin industrial manufacturing of its 90% chickpea isolate in February 2021, which is geared toward bettering plant-based dairy options, baked items, and gluten-free meals.
InnovoPro additionally not too long ago raised $15 million in a Sequence B funding to ramp up manufacturing of its 70% protein chickpea focus. It produces a protein powder referred to as CP-Professional 70 that meals producers can use to develop animal-free merchandise. Ingredion is even discovering use for chickpeas as an alternative to eggs in dressings and sauces. Its broth emulsifier, Evanesse, is derived from cooked chickpeas.
In the meantime, chickpeas are making their means into quite a lot of new meals merchandise. Chickpea-based snack maker Hippeas plans to develop into a number of snacking classes because of a latest $50 million funding spherical, whereas chickpea pasta maker Banza is increasing into the frozen pizza section with a chickpea crust pie.