Benson Hill invests US$28m in soy processing capabilities to meet “exploding demand”

US — Agricultural biotechnology company Benson Hill is investing US$28 million to expand its capacity to convert its proprietary soybeans into value-added soy protein ingredients for the underserved human and pet food categories.

The funds will support the establishment of a new soy extrusion facility at its site in Creston, Iowa to spur product innovation and increase manufacturing scale.

Benson Hill said the resulting high-protein soy ingredients will be marketed to consumer-packaged goods companies.

The Creston facility where the expansion is expected became part of Benson Hill in January 2022 as part of its acquisition of ZFS Creston, LLC.

At the time of the acquisition, Benson Hill said the purchase fulfilled the final step in its ability to convert its proprietary soybeans into value-added soy protein ingredients for the underserved human and pet food categories.

The company said the exploding demand for soy-based protein ingredients is outpacing supply, suggesting the need to build additional concentrate and isolate processing facilities.

This traditional approach would take massive investment, years to build and perpetuate a commodity-based, asset-heavy, siloed approach to food production.

The Creston operation is equipped to produce soy meal and oil, as well as food-grade soy white flake, flour, and grits, which can be marketed as ingredients or used as raw material for further production of concentrates, isolates and textured protein products.

Benson Hill which has been awarded tax benefits through the High-Quality Jobs program, which is funded by the Iowa Economic Development Authority, said the new project is expected to create 11 jobs.

Earlier, Benson Hill announced its third quarter results where consolidated revenues increased 307 percent year-over-year to US$130 million driven by a 429 percent increase in Ingredients segment revenues.

For the quarter ending September 30, 2022, the company recorded a gross profit of US$4.4 million, an increase in profitability of $4.0 million.

The company attributed the rise in revenues and profits to rapid growth in the Ingredients segment, which was partially offset by a decline in revenues in the Fresh segment.

Following the impressive results, the company’s management raised the 2022 guidance with consolidated revenues in the range of $430 million to $455 million and gross profit of $14 million to $17 million.

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