The plant-based protein company has been a joint venture between the Cameron family and Ingredion since 2018
Film director James Cameron and wide Suzie Amis
From left: Brad Wall, James Cameron, Suzy Amis Cameron, Greg Yuel, Olivia Yuel. Photo Credit- Chad Reynold, Golden Media

Ingredion, a global provider of ingredient solutions to the food and drink industry, has signed an agreement with film director James Cameron to acquire the joint venture Verdient Foods for an undisclosed sum. The transaction is funded from the company’s available liquidity.

“Acquiring 100% ownership in Verdient Foods enables Ingredion to accelerate net sales growth, further expand our manufacturing capability and co-create with our customers to serve the increasing consumer demand for plant-based foods,” said Jim Zallie, Ingredion’s president and chief executive.

Cameron founded Verdient Foods in 2017 alongside his wife Suzy Amis to address the current and future global sustainable plant-based protein food demand. The company operates a 160,000 metric-ton pulse food processing facility in Vanscoy, Saskatoon in Canada.

“Ingredion is truly committed to breakthrough, innovative and sustainable plant-based solutions, and to revolutionising food systems for the health of the planet,” said Cameron. “Our collective efforts and shared vision are about igniting change and delivering benefits to consumers around the world.”

Ingredion has invested over the past two years more than $200 million to build a leadership position in consumer-preferred plant-based proteins, which is central to its strategy and accelerating its driving growth roadmap.

Zallie added: “We are well positioned to continue capitalising on and benefiting from the megatrends driving the changes in the global food and beverage industry. We look forward to building on the foundation set by James and Suzy Amis Cameron, who have been pioneers in driving transformational change in the food industry and creating a shared sustainable future for all.”

As a result of the acquisition, and once construction is complete on an adjacent facility, Ingredion will operate two facilities that can produce a wide range of high-quality, sustainable, speciality pulse-based concentrates and flours from peas, lentils and fava beans.

New facility to improve the functionality of pulse-based ingredients

The adjacent facility under construction at the site of Verdient Foods is part of a C$25.7 million investment committed by Ingredion and Verdient Foods alongside T Base 4 Investments, OMD Food Products, and Protein Industries Canada.

New pulse processing facility

The project is aimed at opening new markets for pulse-based proteins by increasing their functionality in high-value ingredients.

Initially focusing on yellow peas, the partners will use physical processing techniques to turn the commodities into ingredients that will be available to food processors and manufacturers in Canada and internationally.

Plant-based protein speciality growth platform

The acquisition of 100% of Verdient Foods is the latest in a series of actions and investments that Ingredion has taken to expand and advance its plant-based proteins speciality growth platform.

Last year, Ingredion participated in the Series B round of Clara Foods, a San Francisco-based start-up producing egg proteins via a fermentation process with a modified yeast. As part of the investment, Ingredion became its exclusive, global go-to-market partner.

Ingredion also invested in a dedicated innovation lab in Englewood, Colorado. Focused on plant-based meat alternatives, food scientists and product developers apply formulation expertise to help customers accelerate product launches and improve existing recipes.

This year, Ingredion invested in a process innovation centre in Bridgewater, New Jersey, enabling customers to test and develop formulations, ideas and solutions for plant-based meat alternatives.

Date published: 11 November 2020

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