Stand-up pouch capabilities will also be added at SunOpta's fruit snack operations in Omak, Washington.
Fruit snacks contracted business to start in 2016
The company currently outsources pouch packaged volumes for fruit snacks, which, in hand with newly contracted business scheduled to start in early 2016, will allow this volume to be packaged internally, improving efficiency and control over finished products.
"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/COO, SunOpta
"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."
Frozen fruit second stand-up pouch line
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 products starting in the third quarter.
In addition to its stand-up pouch packaging capabilities, SunOpta has enhanced its consumer product goods portfolio with the recently announced acquisitions of Sunrise Growers and Niagara Natural.
The 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 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.