TORONTO, Jan. 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SunOpta Inc. ("SunOpta" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY), a leading global company focused on natural and organic foods, today announced plans to further expand its value-added flexible re-sealable pouch processing and packaging capabilities at its Allentown, PA facility. In response to continued demand for flexible re-sealable pouch products, the Company will be adding additional filling lines at its Allentown operation, which is anticipated to more than double the processing capacity at that facility. The new lines are expected to come on-line in the third quarter of 2013, increasing the Company's total filling capacity to approximately 150 million pouches. Flexible re-sealable pouch products leverage the Company's integrated capabilities from sourcing raw materials through ingredient production and finished packaged products, ensuring control of quality and organic certification, and providing traceability from the farm to the retail shelf. Going forward, the Allentown facility has room for further expansion and the Company is also exploring further geographic expansion opportunities to meet growing customer demand. "Continued expansion of our value-added flexible re-sealable pouch processing and packaging capabilities remains a key strategic objective designed to leverage our integrated field to table capabilities," commented Steve Bromley, SunOpta's Chief Executive Officer. "The variety of products offered in pouches continues to grow, driven in part by the consumer's desire for convenient, portable, healthy and nutritious foods in sustainable packaging formats, and we believe SunOpta is well positioned to capitalize on these trends as we continue to focus on our strategy of becoming a pure play natural and organic foods company." The flexible re-sealable pouch market is rapidly expanding in North America and well established in Europe and Asia. The pouch format is applicable to a wide range of product categories including natural and organic fruit and vegetable snacks, apple sauces, tomato products, baby food, yogurts, beverages, toppings, among many other packaged food products.
The Company entered the flexible, re-sealable pouch business in late 2011 with the installation of processing equipment at a production facility in California. This was followed in August 2012 with the commissioning of a dedicated flexible pouch processing and filling facility in Allentown. Geographically, the dual east/west processing footprint for the production of flexible re-sealable pouch products provides for cost benefits and leverages the Company's integrated sourcing and supply capabilities.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 66.2% 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. The SunOpta Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3958 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, our expansion plans for our Allentown facilities, our anticipated processing and filling capacity and our efforts to explore further expansion opportunities. The terms and phrases "plans," "will," "expected," "exploring," "continues," "believe" 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 including that there are no material unanticipated variations in budgeted costs or changes in demand for re-sealable pouch products. 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, potential labour, construction or other delays or issues in connection with the expansion of the facility, cost overruns in the capital expansion activities and adverse changes in demand for re-sealable pouch products, 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.
CONTACT: For further information, please contact: SunOpta Inc. Susan Wiekenkamp, Information Officer Tel: 905-455-2528, ext. 103 firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sunopta.com