SunOpta Inc. is expanding its stand-up pouch packaging capabilities.

TORONTO — SunOpta Inc. is expanding its stand-up pouch packaging capabilities throughout its frozen fruit, roasted snacks and fruit snack platforms.

The company said it 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 also will be added at SunOpta’s fruit snack operations in Omak, Wash., scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2016.

Rik Jacobs, president and c.o.o. of SunOpta.

“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, president and chief operating officer. “Stand-up pouches are quickly becoming preferred by many consumers, with 90% of consumers influenced by the package and 45% 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.”

SunOpta said the addition of a second stand-up pouch line was necessary in its frozen fruit operations 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 enhanced its consumer product goods portfolio with the recent acquisitions of Sunrise Growers and Niagara Natural.

The acquisition of Sunrise Growers 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.

Meanwhile, the addition of Niagara Natural extends SunOpta’s market presence in fruit snacks and gives the company fruit snack manufacturing operations in both the West and East coasts of North America.

Both Sunrise Growers and Niagara Natural recently have invested in stand-up pouch capabilities, SunOpta said.