USA – Ardent Mills, one of the largest milling companies in the United States has introduced BakeHaven, a new private-label flour brand targeting emerging retailers, World Grain has reported.

According to Raelyn Bausman, the associate manager of channel marketing, emerging retailers comprise independent, small-chain grocery stores, retailers, and convenience stores.

The move bridges the gap left in the past where high packaging minimums for flour to be sold at retail often made it unaffordable for smaller retailers and kept Ardent Mills from servicing them.

Therefore, Bausman intimated that BakeHaven, with a more affordable minimum order of three pallets, will allow Ardent Mills to do so.

BakeHaven wheat flours include all-purpose bleached flour, all-purpose unbleached flour, organic all-purpose flour, self-rising flour, whole wheat flour, bread flour, and a keto-friendly all-purpose flour blend.

In addition, BakeHaven gluten-free specialty flours include almond flour, coconut flour, and one-to-one gluten-free all-purpose flour.

According to Ardent Mills, private label growth is outpacing the retail flour category and gaining share from brands at 3.3 percentage points by volume. In addition, Ardent Mills revealed that unit sales of private label flour year-over-year in April 2023 were up nearly 9% when compared with April 2022.

Bausman gave three reasons why private label sales in general are growing. First, prices are increasing for traditional national flour brands because of inflation.

“Having private label, (retailers) get to control that price a little more,” she said. “Consumers are looking for more of that high-quality, yet value, option.”

Secondly, Bausman stated that private labels’ credibility continues to improve as well as retailers are prioritizing their brands.

“They are trying to build their private label across multiple categories,” Bausman said.

The milestone comes after the company’s earnings remained strong in the third quarter of fiscal 2023, though growth in profits slowed from a year earlier.

According to Ardent Mills’ financial results, Conagra equity method earnings in the quarter that ended Feb. 26 were US$50.5 million, up 5% from US$48.1 million in the same period a year earlier.

According to Conagra filing, “Ardent Mills earnings for the third quarter and first three quarters of fiscal 2023 reflected favorable market conditions, including the joint venture’s effective management through the recent volatility in the wheat markets.” 

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