TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SunOpta Inc. ("SunOpta" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) today provided an update on the expansion of value-added processing capabilities in three of its consumer products facilities.
The Company has completed the installation of two additional flexible re-sealable pouch filling lines at its Allentown, Pennsylvania facility, bringing its total pouch filling capacity to approximately 140 million units, with strategic production on both the east and west coasts of the US. With the expanded capacity in place, the Company will continue to broaden its pouch applications beyond fruit based foods to include the adult nutritional category, value-added beverages and functional and fortified foods. In serving the flexible pouch market the Company is well positioned to leverage its integrated capabilities from sourcing raw materials through to packaging consumer ready products, ensuring control of quality and organic certification, and providing traceability from the farm to the retail shelf.
The Company also completed several expansion projects within its aseptic beverage operations with the installation of a new multi-serve filler (liter/quart) at each of its Modesto, CA and Alexandria, MN facilities. In addition, the Company also completed the installation of a single serve (200/250ml) filler at the Modesto operation. These three fillers will enable the Company to bring a new innovative packaging format to its customers, as well as increase the breadth of categories served beyond non-dairy beverages to include organic dairy and nutritional beverages. With these new fillers now operational, the Company has total annual aseptic beverage production capacity of approximately 400 million quarts.
"Continued expansion of our value-added flexible re-sealable pouch and aseptic beverage capabilities remains a key strategic objective designed to leverage our integrated field to table capabilities," commented Steve Bromley, SunOpta's Chief Executive Officer. "Consumer demand for healthy foods and portable nutrition continues to grow and we feel we are well positioned to capitalize on these trends. Both our Allentown and Modesto facilities can accommodate further expansion and our intention is to continue to grow these businesses and maintain a leading position in the flexible re-sealable pouch and aseptic beverage markets."
About SunOpta Inc.
SunOpta Inc. is a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods products. The Company specializes in sourcing, processing and packaging of natural and organic food products, integrated from seed through packaged products; with a focus on strategically vertically integrated business models. The Company's core natural and organic food operations focus on value-added grains, fiber and fruit based product offerings, supported by a global infrastructure. The Company has two non-core holdings, a 66.1% ownership position in Opta Minerals Inc., listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and a minority ownership position in Mascoma Corporation, an innovative biofuels company.
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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 Company's plans to broaden and expand its pouch applications and to leverage its integrated capabilities and the Company's approximate aseptic beverage and pouch filling production capacity. Terms and phrases such as "will continue", "will enable" and "well positioned" 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 its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments as well as other factors the Company believes 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 be consistent with expectations and predications of the Company is subject to many risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations and predictions, including potential processing or other operational issues which might affect capacity, throughput and product quality, delays with or inability secure ingredients, consumer preferences and acceptance of the Company's value-added products and whether or not the additional production capacity and intended applications will provide a benefit to the Company, as well as other risks described from time to time under "Risk Factors" in the Company's 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 anticipated by the Company will be realized.