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SunOpta Inc. Completes Major Aseptic Processing and Filling Expansion in Allentown Facility

ALLENTOWN, Pa., Nov. 19, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SunOpta Inc. ("SunOpta") (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY), a leading global company focused on organic, non-genetically modified and specialty foods, celebrates the grand opening today of its newly expanded dual purpose consumer products facility in Allentown, Penn. The company recently completed the addition of aseptic processing capabilities at the facility, significantly boosting SunOpta's aseptic processing and filling footprint to better serve its customer base. The expansion, valued at approximately $25 million, is one of SunOpta's largest capital expansion projects to date and was completed on time and on budget. Commercial production has commenced and it is expected that volumes will ramp-up over the next 12 months.

The addition of aseptic capabilities in Allentown provides SunOpta a crucial competitive advantage in the growing aseptic processing business, giving the company a strategically located aseptic processing facility on the East Coast. "The completion of the expansion in Allentown means SunOpta now has aseptic processing facilities on the East and West Coasts, as well as the Midwest," said Rik Jacobs, President and CEO of SunOpta. "With the addition of aseptic processing in Allentown, we now offer customers one of the largest integrated non-dairy aseptic beverage processing platforms in North America which we believe will offer the lowest landed cost to customers."

The expansion of aseptic capabilities in Allentown is part of SunOpta's broader focus on growing its consumer packaged goods business. Last month, SunOpta completed its transformative acquisition of Sunrise Growers, a leading supplier of frozen fruit in North America, and integrated its acquisition of Niagara Natural, an innovative and fast-growing manufacturer of better-for-you fruit snacks. "The aseptic processing expansion in Allentown aligns well with our strategy to aggressively grow our integrated field-to-table consumer packaged goods business," said Jacobs. "The expansion of our Allentown facility enhances the value-added consumer packaged goods portfolio we offer customers in the healthy beverage, fruit and snack categories. Combined with our industry leading global ingredients business, and vertically integrated platform, we're pleased to provide customers with value-added products at every step of the supply chain."

SunOpta's vertically integrated aseptic beverage capabilities incorporate raw material sourcing through ingredient production and finished packaged products, providing for control of quality, organic certification, and traceability from the farm to finished packaged product. Current production capabilities include soymilk, rice beverage, almond beverage, coconut based beverages, other grain based beverages, nutritional beverages, teas, dairy products and broths among others.

The project in Allentown complements an expansion of aseptic processing and filling capabilities at SunOpta's Modesto, Calif., facility which was completed earlier this year. SunOpta also maintains a significant aseptic operation in Alexandria, Minn.

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.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements included in this press release may be considered "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities legislation, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the expected increase in volumes over the next 12 months. Terms and phrases such as "expected", "will", "continue" and other similar terms and phrases are intended to identify these forward looking statements. Forward looking statements are based on information available to us on the date of this release and are based on estimates and assumptions made by the Company in light of our experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments as well as other factors we believe are appropriate in the circumstances. The Company makes no representation that reasonable business people in possession of the same information would reach the same conclusions. Whether actual timing and results will agree with expectations and predications of the Company is subject to many risks and uncertainties including issues with respect to throughput and product quality; possible labor or construction delays in connection with the expansion of the facilities; potential cost overruns; installation, processing or other operational issues which might affect timing or capacity; delays with or inability to secure ingredients; and consumer preferences and acceptance of our products, as well as other risks described from time to time under "Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q (available at www.sec.gov). Consequently all forward-looking statements made herein are qualified by these cautionary statements and there can be no assurance that the actual results or developments that we anticipate will be realized.

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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.