Quality Ingredients™ featured in Minneapolis, Minnesota Star Tribune

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Highly successful, business restructuring now enabling a laser focus on specialized, high value contract manufacturing

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CEO Isabelle Day emphasized that QIC wanted what was best for the business.

The Minnesota based manufacturer of powdered ingredients, for the food and related industries, was recognized for its unusual, but highly successful, business restructuring that is now enabling a laser focus on specialized, high value contract manufacturing.

Quality Ingredients (QIC) was featured in the Star Tribune* as a company with the insight and courage to make the tough decisions that would enable it to excel in the marketplace and in serving its customers.

Quality Ingredients makes specialized powders – all kinds of powders – from lemon powder to flavor a breading to powders that go into dietary supplements found in health food stores. Those powders are created from liquids using spray drying technology. Most of the powders are contract manufactured for the party owning the product. In other words, Quality Ingredients doesn’t “own” the powder; it offers its spray drying technology and manufacturing know how to a company with an ingredient that they need to have in powder form. For example, a flavor company may own a liquid flavor that they need a powdered version of. QIC doesn’t own the flavor, but it can turn that liquid into a powder and then pass it back to the flavor company for their further use.

Quality Ingredients recently executed an unusual business move. It was a $75MM company, having been built from nothing over 25 years. But it strategically decided to sell off its largest of two powder-making Divisions, leaving it as a $15MM company. Both Divisions were stable or growing and profitable; the company earned its cost of capital and was debt-free. Why would you sell anything, yet alone 80% of the company?

CEO Isabelle Day emphasized that QIC “wanted what was best for the business.” The $60MM Division that was sold produced nondairy creamers and related products under the QIC brand name – a stable and profitable business. Looking out three to five years, QIC believed there would be ongoing consolidation in that segment and its business would be a stronger competitor for the long-term if combined with a complementary player. So, in the best interest of the business, that is exactly what QIC did – they positioned this Creamer business for greater long-term success by combining it with the Creamer business of SensoryEffects.

The sale of the Creamer business made QIC what it is today - a $15MM contract manufacturer of specialized powders, a very different marketplace than the Creamer segment. Specialized powders are used in everything from food, to functional food, to nutraceuticals, to dietary supplements, to medical foods, and even nonfood applications. QIC sees high growth opportunities for specialized powders! The company is already a significant player in the category and partners with several major food companies to provide high quality, specialized powders, produced in a first rate facility, and manufactured and delivered by a service focused team.

With its singular focus on contract manufacturing of specialized powders, QIC has strengthened its position and offering in the marketplace. In the last year, it doubled its spray drying capacity. Two dryers were added and built in separate suites. A second specialized pilot dryer was added to support customer needs for trials, development and experimentation. QIC is reaching out to the industry in new and different ways, from trade shows to social media, to offer its services and contribute to the development of the greater marketplace.

The focus is driving substantial interest in QIC. In the first eight months of 2013, the company performed over 50 trials across its pilot and commercial dryers. Everything from flavors to vitamins to specialized nutraceutical ingredients have been spray dried at Quality Ingredients in those 50 trials. Customers have come from both coasts to work with QIC – even a Minnesota winter doesn’t keep them away from a strategically driven company with a laser focus on specialized, high value contract manufacturing of powdered ingredients.

Quality Ingredients Corporation: QIC is a growing, award-winning and certified, employee-owned contract manufacturer of powdered ingredients using spray drying technologies. Located in Minnesota, it serves customers from coast to coast, and exports to locations outside the U.S. QIC has been successfully operating for over 25 years. It is honored to serve a range of customers, from the food industry’s Top 50 public companies, to new and upcoming firms seeking to bring innovative new products to the marketplace. Whatever the powder, QIC is proud to be able to contribute to delivering great tasting products that support the health and well-being of people everywhere.

*The Star Tribune article can be found online at http://www.startribune.com/business/272968021.html

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Amit Sinha
Quality Ingredients
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since: 03/2013
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