AgriFORCE Growing Systems Announces Key Milestones in Preparation for Commercial Launch of Manna as a Branded Consumer Product and Innovative Ingredient Offering for Food Manufacturers
Lays groundwork for initial production facilities in Saskatchewan, Canada
Conducts market research further validating broad market potential
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd. (“the Company") (NASDAQ: AGRI; AGRIW), an intellectual property (IP)-focused AgTech company dedicated to advancing sustainable cultivation and crop processing across multiple verticals, today reported key milestones as it advances towards commercialization of its Manna Nutritional Group (MNG) food production and processing intellectual property (IP). As a result, the Company is on track to pilot test its first branded product in the specialty flour category under the brand un(Think) Foods with businesses and consumers later this year. Secondary tests on nutritional values of the food processing technology have shown strong results, with the flour providing over 30 times the fiber, 3 times the protein, and more than 80% less starch than conventional flour, without compromising taste, texture and quality. (1) The Company has also completed the engineering work for a manufacturing line and begun preparation for planned production in Saskatchewan, Canada, with operations expected to commence in second half of 2022. Additionally, the Company reports it has conducted consumer research further validating that a wheat-based alternative flour with substantially higher fiber and protein and lower starch/carbohydrates aligns well with unmet consumer demand.
AgriFORCE previously announced a definitive agreement with MNG on September 15, 2021. MNG, based in Boise, Idaho, has developed a proprietary process to naturally transform grains, seeds and pulses into delicious, nutritious, high-fiber, high-protein and ultra-low-starch baking flours. The Company’s initial focus is on wheat, in which the flour has applications for baked goods, breads and snacks. The un(Think) brand aims to evolve the way people think about their favorite foods and create a new standard for nutrition.
Un(Think) Brand and Packaging Under Finalization, Alongside Developments in Saskatoon to Pilot Production
AgriFORCE is on track to roll out un(Think) to consumers as a branded product and to businesses as a premium branded ingredient, commencing with a pilot market test in North America during the 2nd half of 2022. Brand positioning, logo and packaging design are currently being finalized and, at the same time, the Company is planning processing facility options in Saskatchewan, Canada, an optimal area known for wheat agriculture, as well as a variety of other grains and pulses, for which the Manna process is ideal to develop an array of high nutrition flours and finished products. The Company believes the region’s strong expertise and investment in advanced food sciences makes it ideal for un(Think).
Dr. Stu Gordon, Board Member of Manna Nutritional Group, explained, “MNG and AgriFORCE are in advanced discussions with universities, food institutes and manufacturing facilities in Saskatoon. We have identified a number of promising avenues that will allow us to run test batches and ramp up production in the upcoming months. Saskatoon has emerged as an ideal location to develop our unique food processing technology. We look forward to collaborating with local governments and institutions to advance the commercialization of this breakthrough product in the upcoming months.”
Consumer Research Reveals un(Think) Flour Alternative Resonates With Millennial Audience
AgriFORCE recently conducted a consumer survey with 1,000 respondents from across the United States representing all key consumer demographics. The survey confirmed a strong interest among consumers to purchase a flour alternative that delivers enhanced nutrition, especially among millennials who commonly adopt high protein, high fiber, low carb diets to improve health and wellness. The findings revealed that the majority of millennials are already cooking with and consuming products with flour, with 56% of millennials using flour regularly at home, and 88% consuming flour-based products at least twice per week. However, the study also found that consumers are unhappy with current alternatives and wish they didn’t have to compromise taste and texture to achieve health and diet goals. Furthermore, consumers are expecting and willing to pay a premium for a product with enhanced nutrition that maintains taste and texture, with over half of millennials surveyed willing to pay over 50% more for such a product.
“From the outset, AgriFORCE has aimed to make significant advancements in producing healthy and nutritious food products and ingredients for today’s families,” said AgriFORCE CEO Ingo Mueller. Mauro Pennella, President AgriFORCE Brands added: “Consumer research has confirmed that the products derived from the MNP proprietary process are a perfect fit for today’s millennials and others that are looking for healthy options that also deliver great taste and texture. Our hope is that this wheat-based flour will be the first of many innovative, delicious and nutritious branded plant-based food products that AgriFORCE will bring to market in the years to come.”
As per tests conducted by Eurofins Food Chemistry Testing Madison, Inc.
About Manna Nutritional Group LLC
Manna Nutritional Group LLC is a privately held developmental stage firm based in Boise, Idaho. The Manna mission is to transform the diet and health of consumers through their unique process that naturally transforms grains, seeds and pulses into delicious, nutritious, high-fiber, high-protein and ultra-low-starch baking flours. The Manna team has created an opportunity for consumers to have their cake (and bread, muffins and more) in a new, delicious and nutritious way.
AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: AGRI; AGRIW) is an AgTech company focused on the development and acquisition of crop production know-how and intellectual property augmented by advanced AgTech facilities and solutions. Looking to serve the global market, the Company’s current focus is on North America, Europe and Asia. The AgriFORCE vision is to be a leader in delivering plant-based foods and products through advanced and sustainable AgTech solution platforms that make positive change in the world—from seed to table. The AgriFORCE goal: Clean. Green. Better. Additional information about AgriFORCE is available at: www.agriforcegs.com.
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This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements other than statements of historical facts included in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements and are not guarantees of future performance, condition or results and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors, including those described from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and elsewhere. The Company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement made herein. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release.
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Released February 10, 2022