Columbia Grain International’s Bean and Pulse Line Balanced Bushel Aims to Meet Growing Demand for Plant-Based Protein, Names Bill Germano as Business Manager of Retail Products

Bill Germano chosen to lead bean and pulse brand Balanced Bushel, bring its products to market, and grow company’s reach.

Portland, OR (May 18, 2022) - Living a healthier lifestyle is becoming more important for many Americans, a trend clearly shown by the growing demand for plant-based proteins.

A Nielsen IQ study of the 52 weeks that ended on July 31, 2021 discovered that 52% of American consumers are eating more plant-based foods and believe it makes them feel healthier. It also found that the sales of plant-based meat alternatives grew 11%. (1)

Amid this heightened demand, commodity supplier Columbia Grain International has introduced its first consumer-packaged bean and pulse line, Balanced Bushel, which will be made available at national grocery retailers under the leadership of its new Business Manager of Retail Products, Bill Germano.

A veteran of the consumer-packaged food and beverage industry, Germano brings to Balanced Bushel more than 20 years of experience extending food brands’ presence and reach, perfect for accomplishing Balanced Bushel’s goal of satisfying increased plant-based protein demand and fulfilling its mission to nourish the world.

Throughout his career, Germano has grown CPG food and beverage brands by expanding them into new markets and he looks forward to doing the same for Balanced Bushel.

“Our farmers devote their lives to cultivating the highest quality beans and pulses and we are dedicated to discovering new innovations that nourish the world with their ingredients,” said Columbia Grain International CEO, Jeff Van Pevenage. “Bringing them directly to American consumers through Balanced Bushel is a new way toward achieving our mission and meeting the increasing demand for plant-based protein, which we are pleased to introduce to the world.”

“It’s a great honor to be selected to lead Balanced Bushel and bring people the best beans and pulses from local farmers throughout the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains,” said Germano. “Demand for plant-based protein is growing as more people discover its tremendous health benefits. I look forward to working with the Balanced Bushel team in bringing our products to market and offering consumers the premier option for satisfying that demand.”

Germano first demonstrated his talent for increasing the brand presence and reach of CPG food and beverage products in the late ‘90s, when he served as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Cape Cod Potato Chips, a specialty snack food business unit of Anheuser-Busch. In this role, he expanded the Cape Cod brand’s distribution channels and manufacturing capabilities throughout North America, the UK, and Spain.

In subsequent years, Germano served as Kettle Foods’ Vice President of Sales, a role in which he oversaw explosive growth and tripled sales, CEO of Thomas Kemper Soda Company, for which he built a new sales network that expanded the reach of the Pacific Northwest brand into 16 additional states, and as CEO of Dr. Lucy’s, a manufacturer of gluten-free and allergen-friendly cookies that Germano scaled to national distribution.

As he takes the helm at Balanced Bushel and guides it through the process of scaling and reaching national markets, Germano is excited about the opportunity to bring people beans and pulses that are healthy for them and meet current consumer needs. “Balanced Bushel brings people beans and pulses that our farmers cultivate to be the highest quality for consumers,” said Germano. “I’m proud to be chosen to lead a company that provides such value and satisfies the growing desire for healthier protein sources.”

About Balanced Bushel

The first foray into consumer-packaged food products for pulse, bean, and grain supplier Columbia Grain International, Balanced Bushel cultivates the highest quality beans and pulses from farmers in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains, with which it nourishes the world. Balanced Bushel has eight SKUs on the market, which include its 16 oz navy Beans, 32 oz pinto Beans, 32 oz Black Beans, 16 and 32 oz Chickpeas, 16 oz Split Green Peas, and 16 oz Small Red Beans.

(1) “Growing Demand for Plant-Based Proteins.”, NielsenIQ, 10 Apr. 2022,,over%20the%20last%20two%20years.