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  • By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

Japan’s NIPPN Corp. Enters U.S. Flour Market With $25M Investment

NIPPN Corp., one of the largest flour millers in Japan, is entering the U.S. flour milling market through a $25 million (3.3 billion yen) investment in Utah Flour Milling - a newly formed business being launched by Denver, Colorado-based, integrated wheat flour business PHM Brands.

In business since 2016, PHM Brands is a vertically integrated agriculture and biotech company and owner of multiple subsidiaries including Panhandle Milling. In April of this year the company announced that its former chief legal officer Gina Steffens would succeed John Mason and Bryan Ledgerwood in the role of CEO as part of a restructuring that involved returning the business back to its core of flour milling.

“We have recently been more vocal that we are returning our focus to our core, which is flour milling,” said Steffens. “And, while our family of agricultural and biotechnology-based companies complement each other, we will be strategically restructuring the enterprise to return priority to the core and focus on expansion in that space. It has been and will continue to be a very exciting time for us, and we need to ensure we are setting ourselves up structurally in the most efficient, sustainable and scalable ways.”

For Panhandle Milling, PMH stated that the shift entails executing two-to-three major growth projects in 2023 and 2024 that will position the business as a nationwide supplier of low micro and RTE mixes and flours.

Once such project was begun in February of this year in the form of Utah Flour Milling, which is planning to begin construction in June 2023 on a facility that, once completed in October 2024, will have a production capacity of 7,500 cwt, or about 340 tons per day, of flour-based products.

NIPPN, which though this investment will be an active strategic partner in the venture, noted that this move aligns with its long-term goal of expanding its business in North America, and its business development plan including its inorganic growth strategy.

Along with Nisshin, Nitto Fuji, and Showa Sangyo, NIPPN is one of the top four flour companies in Japan (ranking second behind Nisshin), which together account for 75 percent of the domestic flour milling market, with NIPPN’s seven flour mills accounting for approximately 24 percent.

Formerly named Nippon Flour Fills Co. Ltd., NIPPN officially changed its name in May 2020 to better reflect the expansion and evolution of the company.

In a statement announcing the change, the company explained, “In the 124 years since its establishment in 1896 as Japan’s first modern machinery flour milling company in the private sector, the company has evolved with society. While developing flour milling as the core business, the company has been promoting business diversification into food, ready-made meals and health care, including the group companies. Recently, the Food segment has grown within the group in response to changes in the environment surrounding food. Therefore, the current company name expressing the specific business of flour milling no longer fully describes the company and the group.”

Commenting on its investment in Utah Flour, NIPPN stated that it sees this investment as boosting its overall strength as a flour miller via direct engagement with a U.S. flour milling business, and added that its tie-in with the new company will accelerate business growth by leveraging synergies among its existing food companies: NIPPN California Inc., a California-based premix sales company, and Pasta Montana, L.L.C., a-Montana-based pasta production and sales company. It also will serve to strengthen the group’s network with a view toward further global expansion.

~ Lynda Kiernan-Stone is editor in chief with GAI Media, and is managing editor and daily contributor for Global AgInvesting’s AgInvesting Weekly News and Agtech Intel News, as well as HighQuest Group’s Unconventional Ag. She can be reached at

*The content put forth by Global AgInvesting News and its parent company HighQuest Partners is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. All information or other material herein is not to be construed as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. Global AgInvesting and HighQuest Partners are not a fiduciary in any manner, and the reader assumes the sole responsibility of evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of any information or other content on this site.


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