Ardent Mills is enhancing its specialty grain capabilities with the proposed acquisition of Andean Naturals’ quinoa sourcing, cleaning, and packaging operations in Yuba City, California. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The acquisition is expected to close in mid-February and the new business will be operated under The Annex by Ardent Mills, the company’s specialty grain and plant-based ingredients business unit.

“Our industry is rapidly changing as consumers’ appetite for variety in their diets continues to increase,” says Daniel P. Dye, chief executive officer of Ardent Mills. “As a result, we are making proactive investments in The Annex to meet consumer demand for high-quality, nutritious grains and other sources of plant-based ingredients. With this acquisition, we will be able to offer a complete solution for quinoa and other gluten-free ingredients.”

The Yuba City facilities will be Ardent Mills’ first gluten-free sourcing and cleaning plant and will give the company the option of expanding it to include other grains.

“This company is a longtime leader in quinoa sourcing, cleaning and packing in North America with extensive industry knowledge, grower relationships and a fantastic reputation,” says Shrene White, general manager of The Annex. “This acquisition further supports our commitment to what's next in grain and plant-based innovation."

Sergio Nunez de Arco, the founder and president of Andean Naturals, will join Ardent Mills once the transaction is complete.

“For Andean Naturals, this mutually beneficial acquisition is the natural progression of our mission to share quinoa with the world,” Nunez de Arco says. “While we’ve built expertise in quinoa sourcing and connections to South American farmers, Ardent Mills brings milling and technical expertise, access to markets and the ability to scale quickly with a sustainable approach.”