Plant-based food specialist Puris has commissioned a new production facility in Dawson, Minnesota this week, more than doubling its capacity to produce pea protein.
Named the most innovative food company in the world by Fast Company earlier this year, Puris was an early innovator in the alt-meat space. Its new plant was retrofitted from a dairy factory and will enable the company to meet the growing demand for Puris Proteins, a joint venture with food manufacturer Cargill, and the US’ largest privately-owned company.
Puris’ expanded capacity will enable it to sustainably provide more than half of North America’s pea protein demand.
Puris Proteins develops the ingredients behind some of retail’s biggest brands, from alt-meats to alt-dairy “and everything in between”. Companies like Ripple Foods use protein from yellow peas to make plant-based dairy alternatives.
“This is more than a pea protein processing plant,” explained Puris’ CEO Tyler Lorenzen. “We’re shaping the future of food.
“The model we’ve built puts sustainable partnerships in reach for brands of all sizes. There’s impact at every level – it supports a local economy here in Dawson, introduces peas as a revenue stream for farmers, makes more plant-based foods available to consumers, and ultimately brings us one step closer to a sustainable food system.”
Construction of the 200,000sqft factory was supported by an investment of US$100 million from Cargill, which entered into a joint venture with Puris in January 2018, with an initial investment of $25 million, used to add capacity at Puris’ original Turtle Lake production facility in Wisconsin.
“Our investment allows Cargill, along with our partner Puris, to remain at the forefront of the plant-based protein revolution by meeting the growing demand for great-tasting, sustainable and label-friendly pea protein for both current and prospective customers in North America and across the world,” said Mike Wagner, MD for Cargill’s starches, sweeteners and texturisers business in North America.
“Pea protein not only enhances our diverse portfolio of high-quality ingredients but also expands our opportunity to work with customers to make products that use a variety of our ingredients to satisfy consumers globally.”
Puris is doubling its capacity at a time when consumer interest in plant-based eating is soaring. An August report by Bloomberg Intelligence on plant-based foods indicates the global market could reach $162 billion by 2030. Most importantly, with a continued increase in production volumes, price parity between plant-based products and their conventional counterparts can be achieved, attracting more consumers to the category.
“We’re working to feed future generations, to ensure there’s quality nutrition available and a healthy planet to house a growing population,” said Lorenzen. “At the same time, we’re running a business. Our grower and brand partners are running businesses. With the addition of our Dawson facility, we’re even better equipped to expand our network, innovate, and scale.”