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Lentil-based pasta brand finds new ownership

TORONTO — Global Food and Ingredients Inc., a Canadian owned and operated plant-based food and ingredients company, has acquired Bentilia, a lentil-based pasta brand offering a full lineup of gluten-free products. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2014 by Alnoor Sheriff, Bentilia’s products are all sourced from lentil flour. Bentilia also offers a “Zimmunity” line of pasta products that includes proprietary, nutrient-rich ingredients such as shiitake mushrooms, kale, broccoli and spinach. Bentilia is sold through several health and wellness specialty channels in both Canada and the United States, as well as through its direct-to-consumer website online.

“We believe that our acquisition of the Bentilia brand will position us extremely well to capture significant market share in what is a high-growth category for retailers in the US and Canadian markets,” said David Hanna, chief executive officer of GFI. “The Bentilia lineup of products not only has well-established health and wellness credentials in this space, but we also believe it will be able to deliver on elevated taste expectations as well.”

Following the acquisition, GFI said it focus on building Bentilia’s distribution platform by expanding into additional health and wellness-oriented brick-and-mortar retailers, particularly in the United States. GFI also plans to drive demand through a full-scale digital and field marketing approach to further elevate brand awareness.

“Bentilia has been able to build a cult following in the plant-based pasta space thanks to its unique nutritional profile combined with what is a great-tasting product,” said Prashant Jairaj, vice president of plant-based consumer products at GFI. “We are confident that with our aggressive distribution strategy, combined with an expansive consumer marketing approach, we will build on that momentum to drive further adoption in households looking to add more plant-based foods to their diet.”

GFI said it will source and process red lentil flour — the key ingredient in the Bentilia product portfolio — at one of its four processing plants in western Canada. The flour will be milled further through GFI’s pea splitting and flour mill capabilities, the company said.

Headquartered in Toronto, GFI is organized into four primary business lines: Pea Protein Inputs, Plant-Based Ingredients, Plant-Based Pet Food Ingredients and Plant-Based Consumer Packaged Goods.  The company buys directly from its extensive network of farmers, processes its products locally at its four wholly-owned processing facilities in Saskatchewan and Alberta and ships to 37 countries across the world.