SunOpta Inc., a leading global company focused on organic, non-genetically modified and healthy foods, has continued its investment in its consumer products business with the expansion of stand-up pouch packaging capabilities in its frozen fruit, roasted snacks and fruit snack platforms.
To meet growing customer demand, SunOpta has added new stand-up pouch packaging capabilities at its Buena Park, Calif. frozen fruit operation, and in its Wahpeton, N.D. roasted snack operation. Stand-up pouch capabilities will also be added at SunOpta's fruit snack operations in Omak, Wash., scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2016.
"Our recent investment in pouch stand-up packaging capabilities throughout our integrated platform meets the growing customer and consumer demand for stand-up pouches in multiple categories including frozen fruit, roasted snacks and fruit snacks," said Rik Jacobs, SunOpta President and Chief Operating Officer. "Stand-up pouches are quickly becoming preferred by many consumers, with 90 percent of consumers influenced by the package and 45 percent of consumers placing packaging ahead of price in buying decisions. The enhanced technology and added capacity has led to new customers and expanding order volumes from existing customers. Our investment is in line with our core two-touch strategy and supports our growth plans in value added consumer products."
In the frozen fruit operations the addition of a second stand-up pouch line was necessary to accommodate additional demand for this specific package type, and the new pouch packaging capability in roasted snacks has led to supplying new innovative products commencing in the third quarter. SunOpta currently outsources pouch packaged volumes for fruit snacks, which, in hand with newly contracted business scheduled to commence in early 2016, will allow this volume to be packaged internally, improving efficiency and control over finished product.
In addition to its new stand-up pouch packaging capabilities, SunOpta has significantly enhanced its consumer product goods portfolio with the recently announced acquisitions of Sunrise Growers and Niagara Natural. The transformative acquisition of Sunrise Growers is anticipated to close this fall. The acquisition is expected to provide SunOpta significant scale in private label frozen fruit, a growing market segment that aligns well with consumer demands for healthy, nutritious and minimally processed foods. The addition of Niagara Natural extends SunOpta's market presence in fruit snacks and, importantly, gives the company fruit snack manufacturing operations in both the West and East Coasts of North America. Both of these businesses have also recently invested in stand-up pouch capabilities.