Courtesy of SunOpta

SunOpta’s $26 Million Modesto, California, Expansion Targets Growing Demand for Oat-Based Products

June 26, 2024
The processor of oat- and plant-based products says the expansion is the second-largest project in its history and will give it the ability to produce more than 60% more oatmilk.

SunOpta has completed what it called the second-largest project in its history, a $26 million expansion at its Modesto, Calif., facility that will allow it to produce more than 60% more oatmilk in response to increased customer demand.

SunOpta’s Modesto oat extraction production line was commercially launched in May, and it uses proprietary enzymatic processes to break down whole oats into a liquid base used to make oatmilk as well as plant-based yogurt and ice cream. SunOpta produces private-label oat-based products for national retailers, manufactures oatmilk for other brands and foodservice operators, and supplies liquid and dried oat base as an ingredient to other companies as well.

The newly expanded facility includes more than 167,000 sq. ft. of production space, and 17 new employees will push the plant’s workforce to 208 workers.

According to SunOpta’s release, the expansion will lead to a reduction of nearly 800,000 freight miles in the company’s network per year. Combined with the “diamond-shaped national network” its four aseptic manufacturing plants create across its U.S. distribution network, SunOpta says the potential exists to reduce more than 15 million freight miles annually.

SunOpta’s three other processing plants are in Allentown, Pa., Alexandria, Minn., and Midlothian, Texas.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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