Denver, CO—Ardent Mills has announced its intention to purchase substantially all of the business operations of Hinrichs Trading Company, according to a press release, which calls Hinrichs “the North American leader in chickpea sourcing, cleaning and packing.” The move is part of Ardent Mills’ growth plan to further invest in specialty ingredient capabilities and build upon its existing wheat flour business.

“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, in the press release. “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.”

Hinrichs currently operates across five locations in Washington and Montana, headquartered in Pullman, Washington. The family-owned company has over 30 years of experience, and has been involved in the production of the ingredient since it was first introduced in the United States.

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“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, in the press release. “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.”

“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.”

The deal is expected to close in April 2021.