EAU CLAIRE, Wis.–Silver Spring Foods, a subsidiary of Huntsinger Farms, the world’s largest grower and processor of horseradish, has made several business moves in the last three months to position the company for the future: acquire a competitive brand to close the gap on their supply due to the global horseradish shortage; pivot its business to respond to the food service impacts of COVID-19; and install one of the first farm solar arrays in Northern Wisconsin to decrease energy costs and increase sustainability.
Acquires Brede Foods
In mid-March, Silver Spring Foods acquired Brede Foods, a popular family-owned horseradish company based in Detroit, Michigan. With the Brede Foods acquisition, Silver Spring added the popular Farmer’s Brand to its portfolio and expanded its horseradish supply by nearly 1 million pounds, an almost 12 percent increase. In addition, Silver Spring Foods gained over 1,000 new retailers to their distribution channel.
“The additional horseradish root supply from Brede along with the good spring weather meant we could get the horseradish out of the ground from our farms, which has closed our supply shortage,” said Eric Rygg, president of Silver Spring Foods. “This has been particularly important as we’ve seen such explosive growth in our online and retail sales since March when COVID-19 shut down restaurants and food service operations and people started buying more horseradish online and in grocery stores.” (Read more about the Brede acquisition here.)
123% Growth in Online Sales
When shelter-in-place orders across the country closed restaurants and other food service operations, Silver Spring moved quickly to pivot its business to significantly expand online sales channels and increase retail capacity. The company has seen 123% year-over-year growth in online sales in its Silver Spring, Kelchner’s, and Bookbinder’s brands and retail sales grew by 12.5% per Information Resources, Incorporated (IRI). “As people have been forced to eat at home, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in interest on how to use our horseradish and mustard products to bring more flavor to their cooking. We moved fast to open up additional buying options and shift supply to grocery stores and other retailers around the country to meet demand,” added Rygg. “We anticipate this trend will continue for the rest of this year and beyond.”
Installs Solar Array to Drop Energy Costs
To further position the company for sustainable operations in the future, Silver Spring Foods’ parent company Huntsinger Farms recently installed a 288-panel solar power project at its Eau Claire farm. The company received a grant from Focus on Energy to subsidize a new solar power system at Huntsinger Farms. The Huntsinger Farms solar project is one of the first farm solar installations in Northern Wisconsin. The solar field will generate power year-round and is estimated to supply about 18% of Huntsinger Farms’ future energy demand per year.
Rygg commented, “The solar field is an important step in planning for the farm’s future. By harnessing solar energy, we will bring energy costs down dramatically, improve overall efficiency, and move further towards sustainability.”
At least 40,000 attendees at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days 2021 Eau Claire, will be able to tour the new solar field at Huntsinger Farms, the Host Farm for next year’s event.
About Silver Spring Foods
Silver Spring Foods is a subsidiary of Huntsinger Farms, Inc., the world’s largest grower and processor of horseradish. The company, which has been family owned and operated since 1929, processes, packages, and markets horseradish along with a variety of specialty mustards and other quality food products to retail, food service, private label and industrial customers. In 2021 Huntsinger Farms will host Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, the largest agricultural show in Wisconsin and one of the largest in the nation. The three-day outdoor event showcases the latest improvements in production agriculture, including many practical applications of recent research findings and technological developments. For more information, visit www.silverspringfoods.com.