Business segments combine infrastructure capabilities with proprietary CropOS™ technology platform to scale development and commercialization of plant-based offerings
ST. LOUIS, MO – March 17, 2021– Benson Hill, a food tech company unlocking the natural genetic diversity of plants with its cutting-edge food innovation engine, today announced the launch of its Ingredient and Fresh business segments, including prior acquisition of critical supply chain infrastructure, to deliver enhanced products using the company’s proprietary CropOS™ technology platform.
Benson Hill’s CropOS™ technology platform combines data analytics and artificial intelligence with plant biology and food science to leverage the vast, untapped natural genetic diversity within plants to simultaneously optimize for nutrition, flavor profiles and yield. Through its expanded infrastructure, Benson Hill aims to bring together its improved seed innovation through CropOS™ with closed-loop supply chains and best practices in the field to enable greater sustainability for ingredient and food companies and retailers, end-to-end traceability for consumers and greater profitability for farmers.
“Consumers want healthier, more flavorful and more sustainable food choices, but the traditional commodity model is not set up to meet that demand at scale. We are leveraging our best-in-class technology and working with our partners to drive the evolution of the current system toward a new model, where high-quality options that are better from the beginning are accessible to everyone,” said Matt Crisp, chief executive officer of Benson Hill. “Today’s announcement comes at a time of accelerating growth for the company as our food and feed offerings, which are positioned to be the ‘picks and shovels’ that enable the agri-food system to respond to those consumer trends, are made available to more value chain partners and consumers.”
Ingredient segment focused on enhancing yellow pea and soy ingredients for the fast-growing plant-based protein market
Despite being the second largest crop for plant-based ingredients, yellow pea has received almost no genomic innovation to date. Benson Hill is working to change that. The company has developed a comprehensive genomic map that, in combination with its CropOS™ platform, enables Benson Hill to accelerate its breeding program to develop uniquely differentiated varieties. Leveraging these capabilities, Benson Hill is working on a pipeline of products with the potential to significantly reduce off-flavors, increase the quantity of the protein the plant creates and ultimately displace the need for expensive, energy- and water-intensive processing steps typically required to produce protein ingredients used in plant-based meat alternatives.
Benson Hill has expanded and upgraded the processing capabilities of its wholly owned subsidiary Dakota Ingredients, an upper Midwest-based yellow pea processor, to better serve the pet and human food plant-based markets. Through its elite grower program and closed-loop production capabilities, the operation can now test premium yellow pea varieties and supply ingredients that are traceable and meet food-grade, kosher and non-GMO certification standards. Benson Hill is currently engaged with pet and human food ingredient customers interested in the next generation of yellow pea protein ingredients and is working to establish sustainability best practices across its supply chain.
As an additional part of the Ingredient segment initiatives, Benson Hill is commercializing Ultra-High Protein soybean varieties in 2021 to reduce processing costs and water and energy usage. Benson Hill, as previously announced, is collaborating with family-owned Rose Acre Farms in Indiana to the meet the growing demand for both high-protein animal feed and plant protein ingredients for plant-based foods.
Fresh business segment is being positioned to deliver differentiated produce to meet consumer and grower demand
Benson Hill’s Fresh segment will focus on combining the breeding power of CropOS™ with the extensive grower base, distribution network and retail relationships of its wholly owned subsidiary, J&J Family of Farms (“J&J”), a field produce company. With this combination, the business segment will be well-positioned to execute on the development and ultimately the commercialization of differentiated produce and “functional foods,” with the potential to serve the growing convergence between the produce and pharmacy aisles.
“Consumer appreciation that ‘food is health’ has never been higher, creating increased interest in new product choices and creative ways of incorporating produce into the diet,” said Jim Gallagher, president of J&J. “We believe Benson Hill’s genomics development platform is the engine to deliver the next wave of innovation opportunity in fresh produce, from enhanced nutrient density to consumer-desired attributes like lower sugar and climate resiliency, often for crops that haven’t had much innovation in the past. All of us at J&J are thrilled to be part of the Benson Hill family innovating for the future of food.”
Consistent with its values to deliver reliability and sustainability, Benson Hill is investing to enhance J&J’s Florida and Georgia operations with breeding and testing sites, expanded processing and distribution capacity and sustainability best practices across J&J’s grower base.
About Benson Hill
Benson Hill moves food forward with Cloud Biology® and the CropOS™ platform, a cutting-edge food innovation engine that combines data science and machine learning with biology and genetics. Benson Hill empowers innovators to unlock nature’s genetic diversity from plant to plate, with the purpose of creating healthier, great-tasting food and ingredient options that are both widely accessible and sustainable. More information can be found at bensonhill.com or at @bensonhillinc.
Benson Hill | Melanie Bernds | Mbernds@bensonhill.com