Photo: Benson Hill

Jan 04, 2022

Benson Hill Acquires Soy Ingredients Operation

ZFS Creston will allow company to convert its soybeans into soy protein ingredients

Benson Hill, Inc. has acquired ZFS Creston, LLC, an established food grade white flake and soy flour manufacturing operation in southwest Iowa for approximately $102 million primarily financed through a new debt facility.

According to Benson Hill, this investment fulfills a final step in its ability to convert its proprietary soybeans into value-added soy protein ingredients for the underserved human and pet food categories.

“The acquisition of ZFS Creston, combined with our proprietary Ultra-High Protein soybean varieties, positions Benson Hill to deliver a portfolio of improved ingredients as an innovative unlock to bottlenecks in the rapidly growing but capacity-constrained plant-based movement,” says Matt Crisp, CEO of Benson Hill.

“This acquisition advances our integrated business model as a more efficient route to market with a smaller footprint that better aligns with consumer preferences, enabling us to harness the genetic potential of plants and help scale the growth of plant-based markets.”

The exploding demand for soy-based protein ingredients is outpacing supply, suggesting the need to build additional concentrate and isolate processing facilities. This traditional approach would take massive investment, years to build and perpetuate a commodity-based, asset-heavy, siloed approach to food production. Benson Hill’s technology and integrated approach increases protein expression in the soybean plant itself, so that the need for additional processing is reduced.

Capacity and capabilities acquired through ZFS Creston will enable Benson Hill to immediately deliver a portfolio of better-from-the-beginning non-GMO ingredients that are less processed, more sustainable, identity-preserved, traceable and domestically sourced.

The Creston operation is equipped to produce soy meal and oil, as well as food-grade soy white flake, flour, and grits, which can be marketed as ingredients or used as raw material for further production of concentrates, isolates and textured protein products.

Acquiring the soy white flake capacity of Creston in lieu of building the capacity through capex investment positions the Company to immediately offer more sustainable ingredients within the broad human food market, which includes plant-based meat, meat extension, bakery, cereal and snack, fermentation and the pet food market.

Further, Benson Hill’s identity preservation program leverages deep farmer relationships to provide traceable and more sustainable ingredients for both existing and new customers. The Creston, Iowa facility is also geographically complementary to Benson Hill’s soy crushing facility acquired last year in Seymour, Indiana.

“The Creston operation is expected to accelerate commercialization through the immediate ability to produce our ingredient portfolio,” says Bruce Bennett, president, Ingredients at Benson Hill.

“The investment also enables deeper insight to customer preferences as we deliver much-needed innovation in other high-value food ingredients in the future. ZFS Creston is an established protein supplier with a respected and knowledgeable team on-site.”

Recently Added to Buyer's Guide

Model FA Belt Cleaner

  • Multi-bladed spring arm conveyor belt cleaner
  • Available with 7 different blade materials ranging from urethane to stainless steel to tungsten carbide

3-Rolls Assembly Upgrade

  • For Paladin 2000 automatic roller adjustment system
  • Provides adjustable spacing between die and rolls to allow producers to set perfect distance for different recipes in one pellet mill

Pneumatic Conveying System

  • Pneumatic dense phase conveying is dust tight
  • Enables low-abrasion transport as well as complete emptying of the conveyor pipe

FSU101 Bag Sealer

  • Seals up to 25 bags/minute depending on size, weight and type of high barrier material
  • Resistance-type heat seal bars with dual temperature controls

I/O Interface

  • Interface forms a smart and universal actuator
  • Offers endless modifications to give full control of exact functionalities

Magazine

Marketwatch: May, 28

US Corn Price Idx: ZCPAUS.CM

open: 7.6273
high: 7.741
low: 7.6223
close: 7.7113

US Soybean Price Idx: ZSPAUS.CM

open: 16.9414
high: 17.1044
low: 16.9237
close: 16.9795

US Hard Red Winter Wheat Price Idx: KEPAUS.CM

open: 11.718
high: 11.9549
low: 11.658
close: 11.7977

US Soft Red Winter Wheat Price Idx: ZWPAUS.CM

open: 10.8628
high: 11.0906
low: 10.8128
close: 10.9646