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Alicia P. Kasch, Vice President, RIBUS, Inc.

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Albion Minerals®
Alicia P. Kasch Alicia P. Kasch

RIBUS, Inc.
1355 Greg St., Ste. 101
Sparks, NV 89431
Phone (314) 727-4287
Website: www.ribus.com

Alicia Kasch said she grew up working in and around the family business her entire life. She graduated cum laude from The Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri, where she earned a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in strategic communication. Kasch started her career in advertising working with Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, The Monsanto Co., and then served as a digital project manager at Nestlé Purina PetCare Co., before returning to the family business and joining the RIBUS team full-time in 2017.

At RIBUS, Kasch started as the global account manager, focusing on the eight distributors that represented the company around the world, then went on to manage the sales representatives in North America, as well. With more than 200 representatives globally, and selling into 30-plus countries, Kasch is versed in managing multiple facets of the business. Under her leadership, RIBUS hit four consecutive record-breaking sales years and expanded into three new international markets.

RIBUS produces plant-based, non-GMO (genetically modified organism), natural, organic, vegan and gluten-free ingredients for food, beverage, pet and dietary supplement companies. Its technology and patented ingredients are used by contract and branded manufacturers and formulators to help solve production issues while bringing clean label innovation to a wide variety of products. RIBUS, which stands for Rice Ingredient Business United States, is the “Original Clean Label Ingredient Company” that supplies American-made natural and organic plant-based ingredients. Here, Kasch discusses the company’s expansion, her recent promotion and more.

NIE: RIBUS recently opened a new production facility in Nevada. How does this impact the company going forward?

Kasch: Three years ago, we began seeing the market demand double year-over-year for our Nu-FLOW anti-caking agent and started working on contingency plans for how to meet that demand. The answer was to open our first solely owned production facility. Once we start producing, we will have six times the capacity we did with our contract manufacturers, so we’ll have room for additional growth.

We are so grateful for our contract manufacturers that have been with us for 10-plus years, so this is a big transition. The quality will be consistent with what customers know and love, but now we’ll have greater flexibility on scheduling production and capacity of production to meet demand and hold inventory for new customers.

NIE: You were recently promoted to vice president. As the third-generation in the family business, how does it feel to be able to continue that legacy?

Kasch: It’s been wonderful having the opportunity to learn the business from Steve [Peirce, her father] and while he’s still very involved, I now have the responsibility to put some of my knowledge to work. I’m thankful that Steve has not retired because I’m still learning from and with him every day! It’s an honor to be trusted to be put in this position and I take this new role very seriously and want to see what new heights we can reach together.

NIE: Please discuss RIBUS’ work with the Clean Label Alliance.

Kasch: The Clean Label Alliance is an industry-focused service that offers free technical support to nutraceutical producers.

It was born of the concept that while RIBUS is the “Original Clean Label Ingredient Company,” customers would come to us looking for technical support on topics like making the actual tablets, capsules or production equipment. We were honest in the fact that we are not the experts on those topics, but we know the experts and utilize those relationships and resources when needed. To formalize this model, we invited Capsugel (Lonza), Bosch (Syntegon), and BIOGRUND to help round out the Alliance to cover all facets of production. This collective team offers free recommendations and suggestions within two business days, regardless of if the producer is using our ingredients, capsules or equipment. I don’t know of any other industry organization that offers free technical support, so I’m very proud of our involvement in the Alliance and how we’re helping develop the industry as a whole.

NIE: 2022 marked RIBUS’ 30th anniversary. How has the company grown since its inception and what do you envision for its future?

Kasch: RIBUS was the brainchild of my grandfather (Jim Peirce) and a food scientist he knew from church (Neal Hammond), who were working on a bakery project together that ultimately resulted in Nu-RICE. My father was looking for a challenge at that point in his career and took the idea and ran with it.

Thirty-one years later, I think he would agree that he didn’t know where it would lead, but he’s been so successful turning the concept of a plant-based ingredient into a whole product portfolio that is now a cornerstone of a multi-billion dollar industry.

Since 1992, we’ve hit many milestones and are now selling into more than 40 countries. This year is significant with opening our own production facility, so we are setting ourselves up for 30-plus more years in the industry.

Steve is continuing to look toward the future, to listen to what the market wants and needs, and to develop products that are relevant while staying true to our roots. While we are broadening our portfolio beyond rice bran and rice hulls for the food industry, we’ll always offer clean label, plant-based, sustainable functional ingredients and excipients to the marketplace.

NIE: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Kasch: As more companies are looking to the “clean label” trend, I would encourage companies to do their homework and ask producers what makes their ingredients or excipients “clean label”? How are they made? What raw materials go into their ingredient(s)? Since the term “clean label” is not defined, know what your company believes clean label to be, and work with other companies that support your mission and values.

RIBUS now has 31 years experience in the clean label ingredient space, where some of these other companies are just now jumping on the trend. This is not a division or part of what we do, but our entire business, and we really are clean label experts.

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