February 28/Omaha, Neb./Press Release -- ConAgra Mills is expanding its Ultragrain milling capacity to better accommodate retail food companies, QSR and other foodservice operators that are partially replacing traditional white flour with ConAgra Mills’ whole wheat flour.
Though Ultragrain is currently only milled in Commerce City, Colo., Alton, Ill., and San Juan, Puerto Rico, to meet future demand ConAgra Mills is realigning its Alton, Ill., mill to significantly boost Ultragrain production and reconfiguring its Decatur, Ala., mill to add Ultragrain production. This Ultragrain milling expansion will be completed by July 2013. “These investments further demonstrate ConAgra Mills’ commitment as the U.S. leader in whole wheat milling,” notes Bill Stoufer, president, ConAgra Mills. “This latest reconfiguration of our milling assets will give us four major Ultragrain-producing locations in our network of 23 mills, distributing production to locations from the Intermountain West to the Caribbean. These additional locations will provide logistic benefits as they enhance our ability to meet long-term Ultragrain volume demand and build additional network reliability,” Stoufer says.
Following Ultragrain’s launch, public support for whole grains has grown, in part due to the direct endorsement of the USDA’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the inclusion of whole grain-rich foods in the National School Lunch Program, and the imperative to provide additional positive nutritive attributes to foodservice meals, including improving the nutrition of children’s menu choices.
As Mike Veal, vice president of marketing, ConAgra Mills, observes, “everyone’s getting the very positive message to make half your grains whole. Ultragrain is the no-compromise solution that makes it easy to do just that. Strong interest in whole grains is showing up across the board, from grocery packaged foods to schools and now restaurant chains as they begin transitioning their core menu to include whole grains using Ultragrain flour. That’s made this a very busy time for Ultragrain. Our current demand and near-term future demand are covered with existing capacity, however, we are forecasting significant ongoing growth as we expand the product line and because of Ultragrain flour’s mainstream appeal. Soon we will have four very large Ultragrain milling centers, and with 19 additional milling locations, we have the scale and resources to add additional capacity when needed.”