Global Pioneer Fuels the Future of Food, Wins Large Company Category of Annual Poll

MINNEAPOLIS, June 29, 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 announced it has been named 2022 R&D Team of the Year, large company category, by Food Processing magazine.

Since 2009, Food Processing has been conducting the R&D Teams of the Year poll, with winners selected by Food Processing readers and website visitors. Past large-company winners have included General Mills, Hormel, Unilever USA, Conagra, Kraft Heinz and Tyson.

“True innovation remains hard to come by, and companies achieving it should be lauded for their efforts,” said Dave Fusaro, editor-in-chief, Food Processing. “We are delighted to present SunOpta as the 2022 R&D Team of the year, large company category.”

SunOpta recently unveiled its new 65,000 square-foot, $20M  global headquarters and 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 move is a key investment to achieving strategic business and growth goals, including doubling the plant-based business by 2025.

SunOpta’s new headquarters and innovation center, featuring a pilot plant and R&D center eight times the size of its previous location, will further expand co-manufacturing, private label, ingredient and branded product offerings across all categories. Additional R&D features include replicas of customer barista bars for product development and tasting.

Anchored by its 28-person R&D team for plant-based and fruit-based food and beverages, SunOpta launched nearly 70 innovations in 2021, including multiple applications for its 40% concentrated Oatbase,  SOWN® organic oat creamer, OatGold™ Certified Upcycled™ oat powder ingredient and Sunrise Growers organic smoothie bowls.

“Innovation for our customers and consumers as well as building strong technical expertise are two of our competitive advantages. These strengths have helped us deliver over 50% revenue growth in the last 36 months in our plant-based segment,” said Joe Ennen, CEO, SunOpta. “Being a preferred R&D supplier is a very strategic consideration for our customers and we’re proud to have the best team in the business.”

“No one does innovation like SunOpta – from co-manufacturing to private label and ingredients to our own branded products – this team truly is stellar and this award is a strong proof point,” said Bryan Clark, Senior Vice President of Research & Development and Quality Assurance at SunOpta.


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 and LinkedIn.