Seed World

Benson Hill Adds Bruce Bennett as President of Ingredients Business Segment

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Benson Hill, Inc. announced that Bruce Bennett will join the Company’s Executive Leadership Team as President of its Ingredients business segment.

In this newly created role, Bennett will report to Benson Hill’s CEO Matt Crisp and oversee global operations and adoption of Benson Hill’s ingredients portfolio for the growing plant-based protein market. He will lead organizational functions that drive end-to-end delivery of Benson Hill’s ingredients portfolio across its supply chain to produce and deliver more nutrient-dense, better-tasting and sustainable products while also providing the transparency and traceability necessary to build a better food system. Bennett’s role will focus on managing the production, sales and delivery of Benson Hill’s proprietary, non-GMO soybean portfolio, including its innovative Ultra-High Protein soybean ingredients, as well as future innovations planned for yellow pea, the fastest-growing protein source for plant-based meat alternatives.

The company forecasts substantial Ingredient 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. Benson Hill recently announced that it had more than doubled contracted acres of its proprietary soybean varieties versus its 2020 crop year, representing approximately 133% year-over-year growth, an important step to delivering to market its Ultra-High Protein soybean ingredients.

“Bruce has a deep understanding of the interconnected factors that influence the sourcing decisions of traders, processors and CPG companies, including demand for protein diversity and functionality, the continued need for operational efficiencies, and growing interest in driving sustainability,” said Matt Crisp, CEO of Benson Hill. “We look forward to benefitting from Bruce’s leadership skills, bold thinking and extensive industry experience as we continue our rapid growth trajectory to serve the food industry’s evolution from commodities to more whole and differentiated ingredient options, starting with a better seed.”

“What excites me about Benson Hill is they are enabling Mother Nature to do the heavy lifting that has traditionally relied on big processing plants, machines, additives and costly operations,” said Bennett, president, Ingredients at Benson Hill. “Benson Hill is growing higher-quality raw materials in the ground before they have even crossed the farm gate. I believe the Company has the potential to open new market opportunities for farmers, improve ingredients for food manufacturers and significantly reduce energy and water use, as well as the overall carbon footprint of the food industry. Its unique approach to modernizing food production aligns with growing consumer demand for cleaner and more sustainable food choices, which food manufacturers are seeking to satisfy.”

Bennett has more than two decades of experience in the food industry and a record of achievement as a seasoned business leader in operations and change management. He also has experience commercializing next-generation proteins at multinational food processing corporations. Bennett was previously vice president, strategic sourcing at McClement Management Group, an integrated supply chain business for a major quick service food company. Prior to that, his 25-year career at Archer Daniels Midland spanned an array of global roles including vice president, foods & wellness; president, specialty ingredients; and president, plant proteins. Bennett led efforts to expand ADM’s geographic footprint, broaden its portfolio into complimentary and adjacent products, and commercialize next-generation protein ingredients. Bennett has a B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University.