Ancient Brands Milling to expand its puffed grain production capacity

USA— Ancient Brands Milling, a puffed-grains manufacturer, has announced plans to invest US$26.5 million to relocate and expand its puffed grains capacity in Dyersville, USA.

As part of the investment, Ancient Brands plans to build a new 92,000-square-foot plant in Dyersville to replace the facility it acquired in the city from The Andersons, Inc. back in September 2020.

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Ancient Brands Milling currently manufactures organic and non-GMO puffed grains that are gluten-free and allergen-free.

Patrick Hemminger, president of Ancient Brands said that this current expansion is driven by an extremely high demand for these products.

“We are at or near capacity on capacity-constricted equipment. The equipment we have now does not provide the ability for us to upgrade or to increase capacity utilization,” Hemminger added.

The move will make room for new cereal manufacturing equipment and increase the company’s capacity from 2.5 million pounds to 30 million pounds of gluten-free puffed product per year.

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The new facility will increase the company’s production capacity for those ingredients and also will add a second production line for puffed wheat and grains that contain gluten.

Previously the company has been importing their gluten containing products from Europe, “but now it is time to put a stake in the ground and begin processing those gluten-based grains as well right here in the Midwest,” Hemminger said.

Mr. Hemminger said the design of the project is in progress and the company hopes to move dirt in June. Equipment is expected to arrive in the fourth quarter with setup taking place shortly after.

He says this puts the company on pace for startup in the late first quarter or early second quarter of 2023.

The company says the facility has been designed to protect the integrity of those gluten-free attributes while being able to structurally offer the new portfolio of puffed gluten-based grains.

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“We are completely segregating the one processing bay from the other processing bay, and that is all the way through the warehouse.

One of those processing bays is going to be gluten-free, top-nine-allergen-free with separate dock doors, separate air handling systems. And then a totally separate bay for any of the grains that are puffed based,” Hemminger said.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority awarded Ancient Brands Milling US$769,093 in tax credits and refunds for the project.

Additionally, IEDA documents say the City of Dyersville will provide the business with a 10-year, 80 percent tax increment financing rebate with an estimated value of US$2 million.

Dyersville Economic Development Corp executive director Jacque Rahe collaborated with local and corporate officials on the state funding application.

Rahe praised Ancient Brands Milling’s investment in the project, which she said will increase awareness of the company’s strong position in the Dyersville economy.

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