KEY INTERVIEW: Sam Wright: Rice Fortification and Reconfiguration of Group’s Manufacturing are Key Future Growth Strategies


15 Dec 2015 --- Nutrition Insight spoke to CEO Sam Wright IV of fortified foods and beverages group, The Wright Group, about the company’s focus, their rinse-resistant grains and their bright future. The company has been in business since 1956 and will celebrate their 60th anniversary next year.

“The company is doing very well. The market for fortified foods and beverages continue to grow steadily and our position in those markets is solid. We have established a new headquarters in Lafayette, LA and now have three manufacturing facilities in the U.S. with our recent acquisition of Huber’s Modesto, CA granulation facility. The other plants are located in Crowley, LA and Plain City, OH. We are reconfiguring our manufacturing strategy for each facility to best utilize our custom premixing, granulation, microencapsulation and rice fortification activities.”

“For now, the company is primarily focused on our North American customers. Custom and market standard premixing and microencapsulation are our main activities, but we now have more opportunities to pursue dietary supplement business in light of Modesto’s significant granulation capacity and active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) standard quality system. Rice fortification via Wright’s proprietary coating technology is also a major initiative which will be expanded as the three facilities are reconfigured. We currently have a managing director in Mexico City to oversee our Latin American business and are also in the process of adding senior level marketing directors in Europe and Asia-Pacific to better serve our global customers and to expand our long term footprint in those markets.”

Wright says the market has been a little slow in 2015, but that they are holding their own. “The rapid aging of the population in all developed countries, the emerging middle class in the developing economies and the rise in health care costs have combined to make consumers more proactive about their health. Functional foods and beverages, and even conventional foods with a healthy positioning are outgrowing the overall industry by 5-6 times. Gluten-free, organic, non-GMO and “free from” are growing even faster. Natural colors, flavors and other natural, clean-label additives are gaining in popularity, which poses challenges to formulators who sometimes have to choose between nutritional completeness and other issues important to consumers.”

Although the food, beverage, sports nutrition and dietary supplement industries are seen as key drivers of The Wright Groups business in the medium term, Sam says that rice fortification will become more important longer term. “We have a truly unique approach to creating stable, rinse-resistant, tasty, easy-to- apply rice grains containing compendial dosages of vitamin A, iron, zinc and other critically important nutrients, regardless of cooking methods. It is great to work with a company that aims to improve the health status of all people. About 3.1 million people died from malnutrition last year. Even more children suffer loss of eyesight. We feel we can have an important impact in improving these outcomes. These are people, after all, not just statistics.”

One interesting component of the company are their rinse-resistant grains and the way in which they are developed. “This suite of proprietary technologies have been developed over the 60-year history of The Wright Group, which has a deep heritage in the rice business. My great-grandfather, Sol Wright, actually bred certain rice varieties which went on to represent almost 60% of all the rice grown worldwide at one point. It was, and is, non-GMO. He saved countless lives through this work and we seek to add to this legacy.”

Sam is enthusiastic about future plans for the group, saying; “We see the future as very bright for The Wright Group. Stay tuned for future developments!”

By Coriander Stone

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The Wright Group


The Wright Group is an industry leader in the development of custom nutrient premixes, the enrichment of rice and grains, the microencapsulation of vitamins, minerals and omega-3, as well as, a complete line of bakery applications.

Our Commitment to Quality

Over the course of 50 years, advances in technology and nutrition science have revolutionized the way products are developed and the methods in which they are manufactured. Despite these countless advances, one constant has remained the same, our commitment to delivering only the highest quality products in the industry. How do we define quality?
Deliver premixes and ingredients that meet or exceed the performance expectations of the customer
Engineer premix formulations which are functionally superior
Continuing Quality Education
Nutrient systems and ingredients that are specifically engineered to maximize the performance of your final product

Continuing Commitment to Quality 

Our quality commitment starts with our plant and our people. To ensure that only the finest nutritional ingredients are produced, we employ a rigorous quality assurance program throughout every step of our manufacturing process as well as conduct continuing education seminars to ensure that your products are manufactured carefully and accurately. Critical points of our commitment to quality include: 

Nutrient Content 

Our commitment to quality begins with using only quality-checked ingredients. Each ingredient supplier is carefully evaluated and raw materials tested to ensure consistency in our formulation and manufacturing processes. Once each supplier and ingredient is approved, every ingredient lot received is analyzed prior to use in Wright custom products. 

Industry-Leading Delivery Time 

Wright realizes that your clients demand quick turnaround times to get their products as quickly as possible to the consumer. Our commitment to delivering quality includes making sure that your products are produced, quality tested and delivered on time, every time. Our proximity to two international shipping & airfreight ports and three major cross-country interstate systems allow Wright flexibility in meeting your timetable. 

Commitment to Accuracy 

Prior to shipment, all Wright custom premixes and nutrient solutions are thoroughly tested by our in-house laboratory to insure potency and performance, and a Certificate of Analysis accompanies all orders. In addition, a variety of testing options, including microbial analysis, are available.

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