Sunrich Naturals Media

SōL Sunflower Beverage Satisfies Consumers’ Growing Demand for More Food Allergy Friendly Products

Sunrich Natural’s new non-dairy, shelf stable beverage offers retailers an exciting new staple for consumers seeking foods free of dairy, gluten, and tree nuts

Hope, MN – (July 26, 2011) – American consumers’ demand for products free from dairy, gluten, and tree nuts continues to climb, and retailers are responding by expanding product offerings and shelf space for products that help them meet their dietary needs. For children and adults who suffer severe reactions to common allergens such as tree nuts and dairy, Sunrich Natural’s introduction of SōL Refreshing Sunflower Beverage provides a delicious, nutrient packed alternative beverage that can be enjoyed in place of dairy or nut milk any time of day.

“This month, the journal Pediatrics confirmed what many American parents and teachers have suspected – that food allergies are increasingly prevalent among children in this country,” said Tina Nelson, vice president of Sales & Marketing, Consumer Products, SunOpta Grains & Foods Group. “With 8% of U.S. children suffering from food allergies, and 40% of those kids having a history of severe reactions, parents and schools are turning to supermarkets and natural foods retailers for a greater selection of foods and beverages that are free from allergens such as tree nuts, which can trigger fatal or near fatal reactions. SōL is made with wholesome sunflower kernels. It’s a delicious, allergy-friendly beverage that everyone – not just those who can’t drink dairy, almond, or coconut milk – can enjoy.”

According to the Mintel Group, LTD, sales of products in U.S. natural food retailers alone whose labels said they were "free from" particular ingredients rose 31% from June 2008 to June 2010, climbing from $210.6 million to $276.4 million. Packaged Facts recently estimated the U.S. market for gluten-free foods and beverages at $2.6B in 2010, and projects sales in the category to exceed $5B by 2015. As more people are diagnosed with celiac disease and food allergies, public awareness of ingredient sensitivity continues to grow. Consumers who don’t suffer from food allergies or ingredient sensitivities are also demanding great tasting foods and beverages free from common allergens, for personal preference or to share with allergic or sensitive family and friends.

In addition to being allergy friendly, SōL Refreshing Sunflower Beverage provides an excellent source of Vitamin E, Phosphorus, Folic Acid, Calcium and Vitamin D. Each 8 oz. serving provides 50% of the recommended daily allowance for Vitamin E, 60% for Phosphorus, 30% for Calcium, 25% for Vitamin D, and 20% for Folic Acid.

SōL is available in shelf stable, aseptic 32 ounce Tetra Pak containers. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $2.69 for 32 ounces.

About SunOpta Inc.
SunOpta Inc. is a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods. The Company specializes in sourcing, processing and packaging of natural and organic food products, integrated from seed through packaged products; with a focus on strategically significant vertically integrated business models. The Company’s core natural and organic food operations focus on value-added grains, fiber and fruit based product offerings, supported by a global infrastructure. The Company has two non-core holdings, a 66.4% ownership position in Opta Minerals Inc. (TSX:OPM), a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials, and a minority ownership position in Mascoma Corporation, an innovative biofuels company.

Media Contact:
Laura Fontanills
Healthy Living Marketing/ Common Language