DENVER — Armour Specialty Marketing will produce and sell Ultragrain Pasta into the food service and food manufacturing channels under an agreement between Armour Specialty Marketing and Ardent Mills, the two companies said Oct. 20.
“Ultragrain Pasta is a wonderful addition to our specialty food portfolio,” said Kristel Halbert, sales manager for Armour Specialty Marketing, Grand Prairie, Texas. “We look forward to providing school districts, food service and food manufacturing companies a superior quality whole grain pasta. Close relationships with our customers and a passion for our products are the foundation of the Armour business. Ardent Mills' Ultragrain brand makes our mission that much easier.”
Amour Specialty Marketing has 11 distribution points in the United States and exports products to Mexico and Puerto Rico.
“We’re tremendously excited about Armour Specialty Marketing’s enthusiasm to represent and build the Ultragrain Pasta brand,” said Don Trouba, director of marketing for Denver-based Ardent Mills. “Ultragrain Pasta is made with a blend of semolina and Ardent Mills’ Ultragrain whole wheat flour, which has the taste, texture and appearance benefits of white flour, and is ideal for making a pasta that cooks up with the light color, smooth texture and al dente bite of traditional pasta preferred by consumers.”
Ultragrain Pasta comes in six shapes: spaghetti, rotini, penne, elbows, lasagna and egg noodles. Ultragrain Pasta is made from Ardent Mills’ Ultragrain whole wheat flour, which is milled to deliver the taste, texture and appearance of traditional white flour while maintaining the whole grain naturally found in the wheat kernel.
Omaha-based ConAgra Foods, Inc. is a part owner of Ardent Mills. ConAgra Foods’ food service business previously had sold the Ultragrain Pasta. However, early this year ConAgra Foods food service division decided to exit the Ultragrain Pasta business. Armour Specialty Foods had been a part of that food service business, but now Armour Specialty Foods is a separate entity, Ms. Halbert said.
“We’re already taking calls about this (pasta),” she said. “(Schools) are very excited to get this on line. As soon as we get this ramped up, we’re sure it’s going to take off.”Mr. Trouba added, “One of the reasons schools are excited to have Ultragrain Pasta back on the menu is because of the popularity and awareness of Ultragrain. In a survey of 982 school food service decision-makers, 68% said they look for Ultragrain when choosing new whole grain-rich foods.”