The move is part of Ardent Mills’ strategic growth plan to build upon its existing wheat flour business by further investing in specialty ingredient capabilities and diversifying its product portfolio.
Family-owned Hinrichs Trading Company (HTC) is a full-service pulse origination and processing company specialising in the production and processing of high-quality garbanzo bean (chickpea) products. The family-owned company has over 30 year of experience in the chickpea sector, having been involved in the production of the ingredient since it was first introduced into the US. Headquartered in Pullman, Washington, it operates five facilities in Washington and Montana.
According to Dan Dye, CEO of Ardent Mills, the two companies share a vision for growth.
“There is a strong cultural alignment and shared values across both organisations. [We] share a strong commitment to our growers, customers, team members, communities, and to growth and innovation,” said Dye.
Added Phil Hinrichs, CEO of Hinrichs Trading Company, “We were looking for a partner that had the expertise to take the chickpea market to the next level and provide new opportunities for our team members and our growers.
“Ardent Mills is that partner. They bring operational and technical expertise, access to new markets, and the ability to scale quickly and sustainably. Hinrichs Trading Company complements that with our extensive chickpea sourcing knowledge and extremely close grower connections. We’re excited about the opportunity to partner with Ardent Mills as we share a similar values-based culture and a solid vision for growth.”
The future of speciality grains
The acquisition – expected to close in April – is another step in Ardent Mills’ commitment to the future of specialty ingredients and plant genetics, which saw the acquisition of Andean Naturals’ quinoa operations in February 2020, along with an organic grain elevator in Klamath Falls, Oregon, and the expansion of its Denver RiNo community mill to clean and pack specialty grains.
Ardent Mills’ operations are supported by more than 35 flour mills, a specialty bakery, two mix facilities, a gluten-free facility and The Annex by Ardent Mills, the latter being a dedicated team committed to cultivating the future of specialty grains and plant-based ingredients. The Annex has a broad portfolio that includes quinoa, ancient and heirloom grains, gluten-free, organic grains and flours, chickpeas, as well as innovations such as Sustagrain High-Fiber Barley, White Sonora and heirloom wheat.
“The plant-based food and beverage market shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, we continue to see significant growth as consumers look to foods that align with their individual values – both personal and planetary,” said Shrene White, general manager of The Annex by Ardent Mills.
“Ardent Mills has made proactive investments to meet this demand. This potential venture will enable us to offer diverse chickpea solutions to our customers from day one.”