Canadian GFI acquires lentil-based pasta provider Bentilia

18 April 20223 min reading

Canadian food company Global Food and Ingredients Inc. (GFI) announced that it has completed the asset acquisition of Bentilia, a lentil-based pasta brand offering a full line-up of premium, gluten-free products in the fast-growing plant-based pasta space.

Bentilia's products are all sourced from lentil flour, making it a naturally nutrition-dense food that, in addition to being gluten-free, is also high in protein as well as being allergen-friendly. Bentilia also offers a "Zimmunity" line-up of pasta products which includes proprietary, nutrient-rich ingredients such as shiitake mushrooms, kale, broccoli and spinach, further elevating the health & wellness credentials of the brand. Bentilia is currently sold through several health & wellness specialty channels in both Canada and the USA, 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, GFI's CEO. "The Bentilia line-up of products not only has well-established health & wellness credentials in this space, but we also believe it will be able to deliver on elevated taste expectations as well." "We trust GFI Brands will do an excellent job delivering the tastiest superfood pasta in the market at a competitive price. We have immense gratitude to everyone at Bentilia as it reaches new heights with GFI," commented Alnoor Sheriff, Bentilia's founder.

One of the key areas of focus for the Bentilia brand will be to build on its current distribution platform by expanding further into health & wellness-oriented brick & mortar retailers, particularly in the US market, as well as drive demand generation through a full-scale digital and field marketing approach to elevate awareness for the brand and product line.

"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," noted Prashant Jairaj, VP 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."

The Bentilia product is harmonious to GFI's vision to develop a vertically integrated farm-to-fork plant-based food and ingredients company providing traceable, locally sourced, healthy and sustainable ingredients. Red lentil flour, the key ingredient in the Bentilia product line-up, will be sourced and processed at one of GFI's four processing facilities in Western Canada and further milled through GFI's state-of-the-art pea splitting and flour mill capabilities.

According to Industry ARC, the global gluten-free pasta market was valued at $1.1 Bn in 2020, with projected CAGR growth of 5.3% through 2026. North America is expected to continue to be the largest market share by region in this category, although substantial growth is expected from European markets as well over the next 5 years.

Headquartered in Toronto, GFI is a fast-growing Canadian-owned and operated plant-based food and ingredients company, connecting the local farm to the global market for peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas and other high protein specialty crop ingredients.

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