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Food Success Stories

Learn how AURI can work with you by reading the success stories of past and current Food clients.

AURI Partners with Non-Alcoholic Brewers to Bottle Success

Jeff Hollander and Paul Pirner started a business with a simple premise: non-alcoholic beer should taste good and be made with quality ingredients and attention to detail. They enlisted the help of the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) to grow their brand from a home brewing operation to an award-winning favorite among craft beer enthusiasts.… Continue Reading AURI Partners with Non-Alcoholic Brewers to Bottle Success

Super Bowl LII Will Have Some PANACHE

For most of AURI’s clients, hard work and perseverance are critical to success. Most recently, food client, Panache, which makes a variety of infused apple juices and ciders, proved this. Continue Reading Super Bowl LII Will Have Some PANACHE

Minnesota Hmong American farmers

Taking the Next Step

They may not raise corn, soybeans or wheat, or farm large parcels of land, but Minnesota’s Hmong American farmers have transformed the state’s urban agriculture and local food landscape. Continue Reading Taking the Next Step

Smude couple in front of cold press oil bottle

Popcorn Pair: Smude’s introduces microwave popcorn made with heart-healthy sunflower oil

Seven years ago, Tom and his wife, Jenni, central Minnesota cattle farmers, began working with AURI to develop Minnesota’s first cold-press sunflower oil manufacturing company. Now, Smude’s Sunflower Oil is expanding into microwave popcorn. Continue Reading Popcorn Pair: Smude’s introduces microwave popcorn made with heart-healthy sunflower oil

food building northeast minneapolis

They Call it ‘Food Building’

If Willy Wonka made sandwiches instead of candy, says Tom Brossart, he might have started “Food Building.” But instead it was the real-life Kieran Folliard, of Kieran’s Irish Pub fame, whose eyes began to twinkle at the idea of an artisanal sandwich factory. You don’t need a golden ticket to see with your own eyes how Red Table Meat Co. processes its pork. Continue Reading They Call it ‘Food Building’

massoud kazemzadeh holding cereal box from kays naturals

Kay’s Naturals/Kay’s Processing

Kay’s Naturals is a Clara City-based company that creates healthy snack foods that meet the nutrition needs of diabetics, those trying to lose weight and a general population that needs healthier food. Continue Reading Kay’s Naturals/Kay’s Processing

Fergus Foods/Nots snacks

Idea to reality: Create a non-nut snack that appeals to those with nut allergies and build an allergen-free kitchen for the production of these and other foods. AURI’s role: AURI assisted in product and process development, trouble-shooting, shelf-life guidance, nutritional labeling, test market research and scale-up. In addition, AURI provided cost-share assistance for UPC labeling… Continue Reading Fergus Foods/Nots snacks


Idea to reality: Suntava, a Minnesota food ingredients company, has come up with a natural alternative to Red Dye No. 40. Its proprietary hybrids of purple corn are a treasure trove of healthful food ingredients, from a natural red colorant, to milled components for everything from snack bars to cereals. AURI’s role: AURI has assisted… Continue Reading Suntava

Redhead Creamery

Idea to reality: Alise Sjostrom had dreamed of owning a creamery since high school. In the spring of 2014, she and husband Lucas began production at their artisan cheese making plant in Brooten, Minnesota. AURI’s role: AURI provided cost-share assistance for scale-up and product development, pre-engineering related costs, and product analysis and nutritional fact labels.… Continue Reading Redhead Creamery

Ferndale Market

Idea to reality: Develop gourmet, fresh turkey sausages to expand Ferndale Market’s line of turkey products. AURI’s role: AURI provided formulations, nutritional paneling and labeling. AURI staff also helped identify appropriate processors and worked with the processors to develop specifications for each new product. Outcomes: Three different turkey sausage formulations were successfully developed and are… Continue Reading Ferndale Market

Smude’s Sunflower Oil

Idea: After the hot, dry summer of 2007 took a toll on Tom Smude’s corn and soybean crops, he learned that hardy sunflower plants could thrive in such adverse conditions, and he began to explore the idea of producing sunflower oil. AURI’s role: Nutritional analysis, product development, troubleshooting and innovation networking. Outcomes: Today, Smude’s is on shelves in… Continue Reading Smude’s Sunflower Oil