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SunOpta Invests $26M on Expansion of California Facility to Increase Oat Milk Production by 60%

Minnesota-headquartered SunOpta this week announced the completion of a $26 million expansion at its Modesto, California facility marking the second-largest capital project in the company’s history.

The expansion is expected to allow SunOpta to increase the amount of oat milk produced annually by more than 60% and has generated 17 new jobs for the local community.

SunOpta’s oat extraction facility in Modesto, operational since May, utilizes proprietary enzymatic processes to transform whole oats into a liquid oat base. This base is then used to produce oat milk, yogurt, ice cream, and other plant-based products. SunOpta provides both liquid and dried oat bases to a range of companies, produces oat milk for major brands and foodservice operators nationwide, and creates private-label oat-based products for leading national retailers.

SunOpta oatmilk barista
© SunOpta

Meeting growing market demand

In recent years, SunOpta has increasingly prioritized plant-based milk as integral to its business. According to the latest data and SunOpta’s own order metrics, the company anticipates mid-single-digit growth in the shelf-stable plant-based dairy category across all channels for 2024.

“This significant investment in Modesto positions us well to meet the growing market demand for plant-based milk and other oat-based products,” said Brian Kocher, CEO of SunOpta. “We are also excited to add 17 new positions to our team in Modesto and continue to have a positive impact on the communities where we work and live.”

“SunOpta loves the Central Valley and the Central Valley loves SunOpta,” commented Joe Gerhardt, Senior Plant Manager. “We are proud to be a long-term leader and partner in the local community and the future of food.”

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