AUSTRIA – The Vienna-based fruit, starch and sugar group, Agrana, has acquired Marroquin Organic International, enabling the company to expand its distribution activities in its starch segment in the US.

Headquartered in California, Marroquin Organic was founded by Grace Marroquin and has been in the ingredients supplying business for the past 29 years as well as a long-standing distribution partner of Agrana.

Grace Marroquin says: “Teaming up with Agrana is a natural choice for us. We’ve been working with their outstanding product line for over 20 years, helping the industry to grow and innovate.

“Agrana is well-positioned to support the organic and non-GMO market as it continues to grow in North America.”

The acquisition is poised to help Agrana tap into the growing US market for packaged organic foods, which according to Euromonitor is the world’s largest with a volume of US$17 billion, by 2017, and is forecast to grow 8.2% per year in the period to 2023.

Agrana CEO Johann Marihart added: “Marroquin Organic International is a pioneer in the organic and non-GMO food ingredient sector in the USA and enjoys a correspondingly high reputation in the market.

“This acquisition is a perfect fit in terms of implementing our specialities strategy in the starch segment.

“Agrana possesses many years of experience in the production of specialty starches and is increasingly focusing on baby food and clean label starches which have not been chemically modified.

“The organic origins and non-GMO status of our products are increasingly appreciated by customers and users alike, particularly in the USA where, with starch largely being based on genetically-modified corn, demand for non-GMO starches is rising.”

Marroquin Organic will also complement Agrana’s starch production capabilities through the company’s starch mills in Austria and a production site in both Hungary and Romania.