Ardent Mills is growing its retail flour operations long-term, adding and upgrading lines for consumer-sized packages that are in demand as more people bake at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With its increased and streamlined retail packaging capability, Ardent Mills aims to nurture customers’ success with innovative grain products and to continue to operate safely at an “exceptional rate” to supply retail, the company’s announcement says.

Investments include:

  • Northeast U.S. expansion: The company added a retail packer to its Mt. Pocono, Penn., facility to meet East Coast and nationwide needs. The mill produces small packs, such as 2-, 5- and 10-pound bags.
  • Dedicated retail team: This year, the team added warehouses for several North American retail mills to ensure timely, uninterrupted shipments, and the company added a retail line to its Newton, Kan., facility.
  • Additional packer/line updates: To meet at-home baking demands, Ardent Mills ordered three retail packers, one new line functional by September 2020 and two packers to upgrade existing lines by early 2021.

"These significant investments will position us well and provide the necessary flexibility to serve our customers and consumers," Chief Growth Officer Angie Goldberg says.

The Denver-based company has more than 35 flour mills, a specialty bakery, a mix facility and a quinoa processing plant in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.