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SunOpta Expands Research & Development Efforts With New SunOpta Innovation Center

MINNEAPOLIS, June 24, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SunOpta Inc. (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY), a leading global company focused on organic, non-genetically modified and healthy foods, announced today that is has enhanced its research and development platform with the opening of its new SunOpta Innovation Center at the company's offices in Edina, Minn. The new SunOpta Innovation Center is an important part of the company's strategy to bring innovative product offerings to its global customers who strive to meet the demands of a sustainable consumer shift towards organic and healthy foods.

The new innovation center significantly increases SunOpta's product development footprint and includes new space and technologies to engage customers in the product ideation and development process. The new center supports a growing team of 22 food scientists, engineers and technicians working throughout the company. In addition to new product development, the innovation center also supports the company's operations through process and formulation re-design, in alignment with SunOpta's goals to increase profit margins.

"The new SunOpta Innovation Center is the cornerstone of our company's research and development strategy to drive revenue growth by investing in new product development to meet the growing demand of our customers," said SunOpta Chief Executive Officer Steve Bromley. "As a leading manufacturer of organic and healthy foods, our research and development capabilities are an important component of our vertically integrated platform as we deliver value to our customers by bringing innovative products to market."

"SunOpta's investment in research and development meets the growing demand from our customers for new and innovative products," said Jim Gratzek, Senior Vice President of Research and Development. "This investment in new product development and formulation redesign is crucial to our goal of being a value-added partner for our customers. The new SunOpta Innovation Center increases our research and development capacity and allows us to meet our customer's needs and be more nimble in our response to market shifts."

About SunOpta Inc.

SunOpta Inc. is a leading global company focused on organic, non-genetically modified ("non-GMO") and specialty foods. The Company specializes in the sourcing, processing and packaging of organic and non-GMO food products, integrated from seed through packaged products; with a focus on strategic vertically integrated business models. The Company's organic and non-GMO food operations revolve around value-added grain, seed, fruit and vegetable based product offerings, supported by a global sourcing and supply infrastructure. The Company also holds an approximate 66% ownership position in Opta Minerals Inc. (TSX:OPM), a producer, distributor, and recycler of industrial minerals and silica-free abrasives. Opta Minerals is a non-core holding.

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CONTACT: For further information, please contact: SunOpta Inc. Public Relations Rob Litt, Director Global Communications Tel: 952-893-7863 Rob.litt@sunopta.com

Source:SunOpta Inc.