Issue Winter 14
Organic ingredient pioneer Ciranda Inc. has seen the North American organic market develop from the outset.
When the company was started in 1994 by President Hans Friese and spouse Joan, there wasn’t an organic food market in the United States. Therefore, the company worked as an exporter to the more mature European organic ingredient market. Then, in 2002, federal legislation created a regulatory framework at the FDA for organic food in the United States.
“That’s when it became interesting and we changed from an export company to an importer,” Hans Friese says. “We supply all over North America, and most of our ingredients originate overseas so we are working with partners in Asia, Europe and South America.” Working with farmers and producers, the company grows exponentially as the organic market increases 15 percent per year. “We are keeping pace with that growth rate,” Friese says. “We are projecting to continue to grow at 15 percent for the next four to five years.
“Consumers are becoming more aware of the organic food industry and they want more understanding of where food is coming from.” In addition to offering more traceability, organic ingredients also are healthier and cleaner.
“Families and parents want their children to have healthier ingredients,” he says. In order to ensure children are getting clean food, organic ingredients can be traced to their sources where they are grown in sustainable ways.
Ciranda supplies organic ingredients to food manufacturers as well as the personal body care industry. The company offers a variety of organic and non-GMO cocoas, chocolates, sweeteners, starch derivatives, fats, oils and coconut products. It doesn’t sell to retailers, only to manufactures and select distributors.
“We’ve been working with our partners for many years,” Friese says. “We help them develop and produce solutions to our customers.”
Innovation and Development
The company emphasizes innovation, research and development for success. Its brands include TapiOK, CocoaRica, Palmfruit and d’Agave.
“We have always been interested in doing research and development. Over the years, we have been able to advance a little bit ahead of the industry,” Friese says.
Ciranda offers five major product lines to manufacturers:
1. Starches from tapioca and potato, and tapioca starch derivatives;
2. Syrups and sweeteners such as tapioca syrups, honey and agave;
3. Vegetable oils and fractions including olive oil, sunflower oil, palm fruit oil, shortening and stearin;
4. Chocolate and cocoa-based ingredients;
5. Coconut milk, oil, flour and desiccated flakes and chips.
Ciranda supplies ingredients from warehouses across North America including West Coast, East Coast and Canadian locales. As a result, the company’s inventory is stored near customers for rapid service.
The operation is a global importer working throughout the world with an emphasis in Mexico, Southeast Asia, Central America and South America. The company name is a term from Brazil where a circle of folk dancers form a Ciranda.
Based in the Minneapolis region, Ciranda is a highly sustainable, holistic and eco-friendly company.