According to the Denver-headquartered company, its backing will boost the transparency, scale and consistent quality needed to take the ancient grain mainstream among consumers, food manufacturers, bakeries and retailers in the US and Canada.
The upward progression of quinoa
Touted as a superfood, quinoa usage has shown double-digit growth in culinary applications, according to Technomic.
From 2012 to 2016, sales from products containing quinoa have grown sevenfold, said the market researcher.
Quinoa continues to surge in popularity and is increasingly being included in nutrition bars, ready-to-eat cereal, oatmeal, gluten-free foods, tortilla chips, crackers and snacks.
“Ardent Mills is joining forces with North American quinoa farmers to ensure both supply and predictable pricing for quinoa whether as an artisan-style bread or other culinary application,” said Bill Stoufer, Ardent Mills’ COO.
“We are always looking for ways that grains can nourish what’s next for communities, customers and consumers.”
Arden Mills began promoting quinoa as the star of its Ancient Grains line in 2007.
The newest offering – the Great Plains Quinoa range – includes seeds, whole grain flour, flakes, crisps, custom multigrain blends and mixes.
All the products are available in bulk, 50-pound bags, as well as smaller pack options. The company said the new SKUs can also be blended with red and black quinoa varieties.
Rollercoaster price and supply challenge
According to Mike Veal, Ardent Mills VP of marketing, the quinoa market is often affected by South American supply challenges and spikes in pricing.
“Our new Ardent Mills Great Plains Quinoa brand clearly defines our quinoa as grown in North America, which comes with the company’s assurance to support North American family farms in the network and our commitment to food safety, quality, supply and transparency.
“We are also committed to price predictability and can offer up to a two-year price guarantee,” he said.
Quinoa farmer Joe Dutcheshen said he believes the support from Ardent Mills will have a tremendous benefit on the North American quinoa network.
“We have seen the positive impact their commitment to double organic wheat acres has had on North American farmers and the organic wheat supply, and know that level of commitment will have a similar impact in the quinoa market,” he said.
Deeply rooted in communities in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, Ardent Mills employs more than 100 certified millers, which supports thousands of local jobs and contributes billions of dollars to local economies.
The company’s product portfolio includes Ultragrain white whole wheat, SafeGuard flour and Sustagrain barley, which, they claim, is the highest fiber commercially available whole grain.