- Ingredients specialist Blendtek signed a North American distribution agreement with commodities powerhouse Bunge. Through this agreement, Blendtek will offer Bunge’s soy, pea, faba, lentil and mung bean proteins — including concentrates, isolates, powders and textures.
- In addition to distributing Bunge’s ingredients, Blendtek will offer customers its product formulation expertise and blending capabilities.
- As more manufacturers are interested in plant-based alternatives — or just different kinds of ingredients — providers are entering partnerships or making acquisitions to have a large portfolio of options.
By entering this partnership with Bunge, Blendtek is significantly increasing the plant-based options available to its customers. The company, which specializes in sourcing ingredients and creating custom blends for clients, now has several ingredients available that aren’t just in keeping with today’s trends, but come from a company that is well known for quality and capacity.
Bunge’s ingredients can be used for many applications, with different protein contents, tastes and colors, emulsifying abilities and viscosities. And while they are available directly from Bunge, manufacturers who get them from Blendtek can take advantage of Blendtek’s formulation capabilities. Bunge’s ingredients supplement other plant-based items Blendtek has available, including pumpkin and rice protein, vital wheat gluten and wheat protein isolate.
“Bunge and Blendtek share a commitment to working closely with customers to provide the right combination of quality ingredients and application expertise to support the creation of stand-out plant-based foods and beverages that deliver exceptional sensory experiences,” Rick Jackson, director of protein sales for Bunge in North America, said in a written statement. “We are excited to work with Blendtek to offer a broader set of customers these benefits with the speed and agility needed to accelerate their growth.”
Since the Canada-based company was created through an acquisition in 2014, Blendtek has tried to position itself as an innovator that capitalizes on what’s new and next in the ingredient space. In a 2017 profile of the company in The Waterloo Region Record, company leaders said they were looking to “solve real-world problems and challenge expectations.”
In the years since, Blendtek has forged agreements and made acquisitions in spaces that strategically help it grow its customer base and showcase a flair for innovation. In 2017, Blendtek secured an exclusive distribution agreement for some of the ingredients from Spanish microalgae company Fitoplancton Marino. In 2020, the acquisition of Tri-Blend Bakery Mixes, a commercial bakery mix company, gave Blendtek the capabilities it needed to become a specialist in functional ingredient blends, baking mixes and custom formulations.
Last November, Blendtek opened a state-of-the-art headquarters building in Cambridge, Ontario. The 85,000-square-foot building has office space and manufacturing and distribution capabilities. It also has an R&D lab and test kitchen specifically to help the company focus on niche product spaces, including plant-based.