Global pioneer upsizes with a focus on innovation to fuel its growth ambitions, seeks to double its plant-based business from 2020 to 2025
Proudly calls Eden Prairie, Minn. home
MINNEAPOLIS—April 4, 2022—SunOpta (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY), a U.S.-based, global pioneer fueling the future of sustainable, plant-based and fruit-based food and beverages, today unveiled its new 65,000 square-foot global headquarters and eco-powered innovation center in Eden Prairie, Minn.
SunOpta’s new home was designed to accelerate the speed of innovation, foster collaboration and model the company’s sustainability heritage to positively impact people and the planet. The space, featuring a pilot plant and a research and development center eight times the size of its previous location, will further expand co-manufacturing, private label, ingredient and branded product offerings across all categories.
The sustainably-designed, eco-friendly workplace is a key investment to achieving strategic business and growth goals, including doubling the plant-based business by 2025.
“Our growth ambitions required this move. We’ve grown our plant-based business by more than $100 million over the last two years through a focus on innovation and new customer development, and we expect this pace of growth to continue,” said Joe Ennen, CEO, SunOpta. “This new facility, with a full-scale pilot plant and a huge expansion of the research and development space, will allow us to aggressively develop new products and new customers.”
SunOpta hired Minneapolis firms RSP Architects and Greiner Construction to lead the building’s design and construction, respectively. Both companies brought SunOpta’s passion for sustainability to life throughout the innovative, collaborative space.
“SunOpta’s well-established green initiatives allowed us the opportunity to create a very sustainably-conscious design for their eco-friendly work environment,” said Derek McCallum, design principal of RSP Architects. “The building is utilizing so many sustainable best practices, including layering landscape both inside and out as well as generating more than 30% of its electricity needs from a large solar array.”
Additional features of the new SunOpta headquarters and innovation center include:
- Nearly 13,000 square feet of renewable bamboo flooring and 920 LED light fixtures
- 630 plantings, six indoor trees, a living plant wall and six skylights to bring in nature
- Replicas of customer barista bars for accurate research and development
- Employee amenities to inspire teamwork, including integrated office technology for hybrid meetings and a fitness studio with classes taught by employees
- Electric vehicle charging stations
- Coming this spring:
- 36,000 square-feet of solar paneling (743 panels)
- Outdoor amenities, including: five outdoor garden planters for employees to grow organic produce, grills, a spacious deck with pergolas
The new center was not only built to create a sense of community and collaboration with current employees, but also to attract top industry talent. SunOpta has a global workforce of more than 1,400 employees across 14 locations in three North American countries, including more than 150 at its new location.
“Collaboration and innovation go hand in hand,” continued Ennen. “While other companies are downsizing their office spaces, SunOpta is upsizing to achieve our growth ambitions by encouraging problem-solving and innovation in person. It is a simple but effective approach: build the right environment, hire the best and brightest minds and empower them to make an impact. This new space combined with our flexible approach to hybrid working brings us together to sustain innovation.”
SunOpta’s new headquarters and innovation center is located at 7078 Shady Oak Road in Eden Prairie, Minn. For more information on SunOpta and to view open positions, visit sunopta.com and follow the company on LinkedIn.
About SunOpta, Inc.
SunOpta (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) is a U.S.-based, global pioneer fueling the future of sustainable, plant-based and fruit-based food and beverages. Founded nearly 50 years ago, SunOpta manufactures natural, organic and specialty products sold through retail and foodservice channels. SunOpta operates as a manufacturer for leading natural and private label brands, and also proudly produces its own brands, including SOWN™, Dream™, West Life™ and Sunrise Growers™. For more information, visit www.sunopta.com and LinkedIn.