ALLENTOWN, PA. — SunOpta Inc. on Nov. 19 celebrated the grand opening of its newly expanded dual purpose consumer products facility in Allentown. The company recently completed the addition of aseptic processing capabilities at the facility, boosting its aseptic processing and filling footprint to better serve its customer base.
SunOpta said the $25 million expansion is its largest capital expansion project. Commercial production has commenced. It is expected that volumes will ramp-up over the next 12 months, the company said.
“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 chief executive officer 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.”
SunOpta said the expansion of aseptic capabilities in Allentown is part of its broader focus on growing its consumer packaged goods business. In October, the company completed its acquisition of Sunrise Growers, a supplier of frozen fruit in North America, and integrated its acquisition of Niagara Natural, a 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,” Mr. Jacobs said. “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.”The project in Allentown complements an expansion of aseptic processing and filling capabilities at SunOpta’s Modesto, Calif., facility that was completed earlier this year. SunOpta also maintains an aseptic operation in Alexandria, Minn.