Farmers in five states – Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon and Arizona – successfully harvested 4,000 acres of Arcadia’s high-fiber GoodWheat in 2019. Of more than 80,000 acres of farmland controlled by these entities, about 30% is dedicated to wheat.
“We are pleased with this year’s GoodWheat harvest, which exceeded the number of acres planted in 2018 by 10 times,” said Arcadia president and CEO Matt Plavan, adding acreage will increase again next year.
For competitive reasons, the company cannot confirm precise numbers, but chief commercial officer Sarah Reiter told BakeryandSnacks to expect “some commercial announcements early in the new year” as demand for GoodWheat grows in markets outside the US.
In its third quarter earnings, released earlier this month, Arcadia said it had also signed an agreement with Arista Cereal Technologies. Revenue for the quarter increased 6% to $392,000, compared to last year at this time.
“Arcadia partners with leading farmers who love to grow wheat,” she said. “Many of them grow wheat because it's part of their farm's heritage or because it offers a good alternative to soybean, potato and other cereal production. Through our GoodWheat portfolio, we're aiming to make the wheat they grow more valued by food companies and consumers through enhanced nutritional profiles such as high fiber and reduced allergenic gluten.”
All of this year’s farmers have signed on to grow the high-fiber strain through to 2021.
Paul Sproule, who owns a family farm in Grand Forks, North Dakota, said Arcadia has “been a great partner for us, bringing innovation and profitability to wheat.” He sees ‘tremendous opportunity’ in this new market.
Bay State commits to more high-fiber HealthSense
Bay State became Arcadia's exclusive North American commercial partner earlier this year. Its purchase commitment is Arcadia's first for the new year. The miller has added the naturally high-fiber product to its HealthSense portfolio, enhancing its “robust supply chain of identity preserved non-GM wheat varieties,” said CEO Peter Levangie.
Marketing and product development director Colleen Zammer told us in September that increasing fiber consumption is central to the company’s ethos. The high-fiber wheat “makes great-tasting foods that deliver on convenience, taste and [are] an excellent source of fiber from resistant starch.”
The strain’s inherent fiber also leads to ‘squeaky clean’ labels, she said.
Arcadia’s Reiter praised the depth of Bay State’s nutrition research, food formulating and prototyping for its HealthSense flour thusfar.
“We’re confident our wheat technology will be well-represented as part of the HealthSense portfolio,” she told us.