US — Ardent Mills, a leading flour milling and grain handling company, has completed the acquisition of Hinrichs Trading Company, a US-based chickpea sourcing, cleaning and packaging business.

Based in Pullman, Wash., HTC operates across five locations in Washington and Montana and boasts of more than 30 years of experience in the production and supply of chickpeas.

The company also has long-term production contracts with chickpea growers across US production areas.

Ardent Mills said the acquisition represents another step in the company’s strategic plan to expand its specialty ingredient capabilities while building closer grower connections.

HTC will bring Ardent Mills strong connections to producers, expertise in seed varieties, and finished products processing and will allow it to offer field-to-formulation solutions for customers.

Moreover, the addition of Hinrichs to the Ardent Mills business portfolio will help the company meet growing demand for pulse and plant-based ingredients.

We are very pleased to reach today’s milestone and to welcome the talented Hinrichs Trading Co. team to the Ardent Mills family,” said Dan Dye, chief executive officer of Ardent Mills.

“Together, we will bring nutritious grain-based and specialty ingredient solutions to our customers and help further nourish our communities.”

Earlier, Ardent Mills launched its Keto Certified Net Carb Flour Blend to help bakers replace conventional flour without compromising taste, texture or functionality.

The new flour blend which is also nut- and dairy-free, is being launched at a time when consumers are seeking out low carb and keto-friendly food.

Its use as an effective way for weight management has led to many consumers that are either obese or overweight to embrace the diet, driving up demand for ketogenic products.

According to Grand Review Research, this increased demand will result in the global ketogenic diet to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5% from 2020 to 2027.

With rising adoption of ketogenic diets, Ardent Mills noted baked goods were vulnerable to being cut from consumers’ diets.

According to a statement from the company, the new blend is low-carb, nut- and dairy-free, vegan and non-GMO and is Keto-certified by the Paleo Foundation.

This will ensure that consumers pursing a keto-friendly diet will still have the opportunity to enjoy their favorite baked goods, guilt-free.

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