Benson Hill, Inc. (the “Company” or “Benson Hill”) today announced that it has exceeded its previous target of doubling contracted acres of its proprietary soybean varieties. The Company has now contracted with partner farmers in the U.S. to grow 70,000 acres in the 2021 crop year versus 30,000 acres in the 2020 crop year, representing approximately 133% year-over-year growth.
These proprietary non-GMO soybean varieties are bred by Benson Hill to be higher in protein, have benefits of omega-9 fatty acids and low anti-nutrients. This year’s crop plans include the first commercial plantings of Benson Hill’s Ultra-High Protein soybeans, intended for the human food ingredients market. Additional proprietary products from this crop year include feed ingredients for aquaculture, swine and poultry as well as the specialty cooking oil markets.
As these planted crops are harvested, Benson Hill expects to have enhanced confidence into its revenue visibility in 2022 for its Ingredient segment. The Company forecasts substantial Ingredients segment growth, which can help fuel the growing plant-based meat substitute market that is expected to reach approximately $140 billion by 2029, according to industry research.
“We believe the food system needs to evolve to meet the growing demands of consumers for better food and feed products with improved sustainability,” said Matt Crisp, Chief Executive Officer of Benson Hill.
“This growth milestone reflects the momentum we are seeing from farmers and food manufacturers for our innovative products made from a better seed, which allow us to deliver more whole plant-based food solutions. We are grateful to work with our expanding network of committed farmer partners who represent the foundation of an evolution underway. With our partners, we intend to build a more health-conscious, diverse and resilient food system and provide the raw material and visibility into our revenue opportunity into 2022,” said Crisp.
Once acres are contracted with farmers to grow improved soybean varieties, the Company works with those farmers, processors and others to support identity preservation and product tracing from seed to ingredient. The result is an end-product that provides more sustainably produced, less processed and more affordable food choices to consumers.
“Identity preserved crops that help us produce more sustainably while meeting consumer demand for more healthy, flavorful and high value products are a key part of the future of farming. We’re proud to be part of Benson Hill’s integrated supply chain and contributing to a better food system,” said Matt Danner, co-owner of Templeton Family Farms, a Benson Hill farmer, in Templeton, Iowa. “Templeton Family Farms has been committed to producing high-quality products while protecting our natural resources for more than 120 years. Today, our farm is adopting new and innovative technologies to preserve our unique heritage for generations to come.”
“The market for plant-based protein is growing rapidly, as is the demand for high-quality ingredients to meet this need,” said Liz Specht, Ph.D., Vice President of Science and Technology at The Good Food Institute. “Benson Hill is working to leverage the natural genetic diversity of crops, like soybean and yellow pea, in innovative ways to serve these growing markets. We are extremely excited to see their growth and the expanding availability of high-protein ingredients designed with plant-based meat products in mind.”
Benson Hill’s proprietary soy varieties are developed, tested and deployed using a data-driven approach, driven by its proprietary CropOS technology platform. This platform integrates a unique, extensive and rapidly expanding data library that spans the entire value chain. With this platform we have the potential to shave years off the breeding process and improve the environmental impact in agriculture.
This also enables decreased development costs for new food, feed, and ingredient products. With its Ultra-High Protein non-GMO soybean products, the Company expects to eliminate the costly energy and water-intensive soy protein concentrate step, and provide scalable, less processed ingredient alternatives for plant-based food producers.