CANADA — Arva Flour Mills, North America’s oldest continuously operating water powered commercial flour mill has acquired the Red River Cereal brand from Smucker Foods of Canada Corp., a subsidiary of the J.M. Smucker Co.
Red River Cereal is a hot cereal made from a blend of cracked wheat, rye and brown flaxseeds initially manufactured by the Red River Grain Co in 1924. It was then taken over by Maple Leaf Milling Co in 1928, and finally acquired in in 1995 by Robin Hood Multifoods, part of Smucker Foods.
The cereal recipe was altered in 2011 to include steel cut wheat and rye, a change the company plans to revert by returning to the original recipe containing cracked wheat and rye. Currently, the mill is in the process of acquiring a hammer mill to crack the wheat, rye and flax ingredients in the cereal.
“With our established retail relationships, we hope to have Red River Cereal alongside our other products in the near future,” said Mark Rinker, owner of Arva Flour Mills.
These include natural artisan flour from non-GMO, organic wheat, beer bread, corn bread and a pancake mix, available in more than 150 grocery and specialty stores in Ontario.
The company plans to make the cereal entirely onsite, and will be launched at the Arva Flour Mills retail store and the company website later this July, with plans for distribution to other retail locations in place for later this year.
The sale of Red River Cereal brand is part of Smucker’s plan announced Late in 2020 to dispose of assets not aligned with its “long-term strategic focus”. At the time, CEO Mark Smucker outlined the plan would entail “reshaping our portfolio, streamlining our organization, and updating our commercial model to transform how we deliver for our customers and consumers”.
That same year, Smucker sold its Crisco cooking oil business and Natural Balance pet foods. Its private label, dry pet-food assets followed in 2021, along with TruRoots, a line of packaged rice, lentils and quinoa.
Although Smucker does not break down sales numbers for Canada, in its year to 30 April, the business generated revenue of US$8 billion.
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