Arva Flour Mills set to revitalise historic Red River Cereal brand

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Red River Cereal was created in 1924 in Manitoba, Canada. Pic: Arva Flour Mills
Red River Cereal was created in 1924 in Manitoba, Canada. Pic: Arva Flour Mills

Related tags JM Smucker Arva Flour Mills Red River Cereal

North America’s oldest continuously operating water-powered commercial flour mill has acquired the almost 100-year-old Red River Cereal brand from Smucker Foods of Canada Corp., a subsidiary of The J.M. Smucker Co.

Red River Cereal is actually a porridge (or hot cereal) made from a blend of cracked wheat, rye and brown flaxseeds. It was created in 1924 in Manitoba, Canada, and takes its name from the valley surrounding Winnipeg. It was initially manufactured by the Red River Grain Co., then taken over by Maple Leaf Milling Co in 1928, and finally acquired in in 1995 by Robin Hood Multifoods, part of Smucker Foods.

In 2011, the recipe was tweaked to include steel cut wheat and rye, however, the Mill plans to revert back to the original recipe, manufacturing the cereal entirely onsite. In fact, it is in the process of acquiring a hammer mill to crack the wheat, rye and flax ingredients, as cracking the grain results in a creamier texture.

Adding lore to two historic brands

“Since acquiring Arva Flour Mills last fall, hardly a day went by at our retail store without a customer asking if we carried Red River Cereal,”​ said Mark Rinker, owner of Arva Flour Mills. In 2019, Smuckers withdrew the cereal from retail, only making it available online.

“This prompted our initial research, and we soon came to the decision that this iconic, nearly century old brand would be a natural fit alongside the historic Arva Flour Mills brand.

“We know that the countless customers who used to start their day with Red River Cereal share in our excitement to get this beloved brand back on store shelves.

“The cereal will be made entirely onsite at our historic Mill, adding lore to both the Red River brand and the Mill itself.”

The Mill plans to launch the cereal later this month at its onsite retail store, with rollout into further retail locations projected for later this year.

“With our established retail relationships, we hope to have Red River Cereal alongside our other products in the near future,”​ said Rinker.

These include natural artisan flour from non-GMO, organic wheat, beer bread, corn bread and a pancake mix, available in more than 150 grocery and specialty stores in Ontario.

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