MINNEAPOLIS — SunOpta, a manufacturer of oat milk and supplier of liquid and dried oat base ingredients, is increasing its oat milk production annually by more than 60% after completing a $26 million expansion at its Modesto, Calif., facility. The newly expanded facility, which created 17 new jobs, includes 167,684 total square feet of production space.

SunOpta said its oat extraction production line uses an enzymatic process to break down whole oats into a liquid oat base that will be used to make oat milk and other plant-based products.

The company also opened a new $125 million, 285,000-square-foot plant-based beverage manufacturing plant in Midlothian, Texas, in February 2023. That facility is focusing on producing plant-based milks and creamers along with tea and other beverages.SunOpta Brian Kocher HeadshotBrian Kocher, chief executive officer of SunOpta. Photo: SunOpta

“Through this significant investment in Modesto to produce more oat base, we’re well positioned to meet the increasing market demand for plant-based milk and other oat-based products,” said Brian Kocher, chief executive officer of SunOpta. “We are also pleased to bring 17 new positions to our Modesto team and continue making a positive impact in the communities in which we work and live.”

The facility also will enable SunOpta to focus on sustainability efforts by reducing its freight miles and carbon emissions.