DENVER — Ardent Mills, the premier flour-milling and ingredient company, announced Feb. 25 its intention to purchase substantially all of the business operations of Hinrichs Trading Company, the North American leader in chickpea sourcing, cleaning and packing. The move comes as part of Ardent Mills’ strategic growth plan to further invest in specialty ingredient capabilities and diversify its portfolio of solutions, building upon its existing wheat flour business. The parties are continuing with due diligence and expect the deal to close in April.
Headquartered in Pullman, Washington, Hinrichs Trading Company currently operates across five locations in Washington and Montana. Family-owned, Hinrichs Trading Company has over 30 years of chickpea experience, having been involved in the production of the ingredient since it was first introduced into the U.S.
“Ardent Mills and Hinrichs Trading Company share a strong commitment to our growers, customers, team members, communities, and to growth and innovation,” said Dan Dye, CEO of Ardent Mills. “There is a strong cultural alignment and shared values across both organizations. We look forward to welcoming the talented Hinrichs Trading Company team to the Ardent Mills family.”
The parties expect the deal will help customers bring innovative products to market to meet growing consumer demand for plant-based and specialty ingredients.
“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,” said Phil Hinrichs, CEO of Hinrichs Trading Company. “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.”
Upon closing, this will be another step in Ardent Mills’ commitment to the future of specialty ingredients and plant genetics, which supports growth for its customers through The Annex by Ardent Mills. Highlights include:
- Acquisition of Andean Naturals’ quinoa operations in February 2020.
- Acquisition of an organic grain elevator in Klamath Falls, Oregon.
- Added capabilities in its Denver RiNo community mill to clean and pack specialty grains.
“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.”
Ardent Mills' operations and services are supported by more than 35 flour mills, a specialty bakery, a gluten-free facility, and The Annex by Ardent Mills (The Annex), 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. Ardent Mills’ operations are located in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico and the company is headquartered in Denver, CO.
Hinrichs Trading Company (HTC) is a full-service pulse origination and processing company specializing in the production and processing of high-quality garbanzo bean (chickpea) products. HTC contracts production of garbanzo beans with trusted, long-term growers, across the US production areas.