DENVER — Ardent Mills is making investments to increase and streamline the company’s retail flour packaging capabilities.
The company created a dedicated retail team. It has expanded in the Northeast by adding a retail packer to existing operations in Mount Pocono, Pa., that produces small pack options such as 2-lb, 5-lb and 10-lb bags. Earlier this year Denver-based Ardent Mills added warehouses for several of the company’s retail mills across North America to ensure supply continuity and timeliness of shipments. Another retail line was added to a Newton, Kan., facility.
To meet demand for flour to bake at home, Ardent Mills also has ordered three retail packers, one new line that will be implemented and fully functional by September, and two retail packers that will upgrade existing lines by early next year.
“These significant investments will position us well and provide the necessary flexibility to serve our customers and consumers,” said Angie Goldberg, chief growth officer at Ardent Mills. “We’re excited about how quickly we’ve been able to execute on our growth strategy and look forward to continuing this work.”
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic created an increase in at-home eating, which led to rising demand for family flour. Chicory, a New York-based tech firm, reported 896,215 online views for homemade bread recipes in the first week of March, a surge of 355%. The national average price for family flour in July was 46.1¢, up 0.7¢ from a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor.