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Value Investing: 1 Healthy Food Business to Own for Decades

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SunOpta (TSX:SOY) is a leading global company operating business focused on a healthy products portfolio that promotes sustainable well-being. The company is focused on sourcing non-genetically modified organic ingredients and manufacturing healthy food and beverage products. It operates an integrated business model leveraging the company’s global ingredient sourcing platform to process and market organic ingredients for retailers, food manufacturers, and foodservice operators.

The company also manufactures packaged products focused on the high growth healthy beverages, healthy fruit, and healthy snacks for SunOpta’s retail, foodservice, and branded food customers. SunOpta is a North American market leader in non-dairy organic aseptic beverages, premium refrigerated private-label orange juice, frozen organic fruit, healthy premium fruit snacks, and the global sourcing and supply of organic raw materials and ingredients.

Scalable global sourcing platform

Further, the company’s scalable global sourcing platform makes it one of the leading suppliers of materials and ingredients in the food industry and provides it with leading insights into emerging food and beverage trends. SunOpta’s product portfolio is strategically aligned with the fast-growing consumer demand for high-quality, healthy organic food and beverage products.

Also, the company’s vertically integrated business model renders it a preferred partner to the company’s retail, foodservice, and branded food customers. SunOpta delivers a diverse, innovative portfolio of high-quality food and beverage products supported by the company’s global sourcing platform, scalable operating footprint, manufacturing expertise, and commitment to innovation.

This platform enables it to consistently supply customers with a broad range of organic ingredients as well as high-quality healthy food and beverage products.

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Diverse product portfolio

As a leading supplier of organic ingredients to the food industry, SunOpta leverages the company’s insights into emerging consumer tastes and preferences to develop innovative new food and beverage products. The company’s diverse product portfolio utilizes organic raw materials and ingredients that are sourced primarily by SunOpta’s vertically integrated global ingredients capabilities.

The company’s food ingredients are converted from raw materials, and SunOpta’s raw materials are sourced from approximately 5,000 suppliers encompassing approximately 10,000 growers in over 65 countries. SunOpta’s employees and assets, which include 27 processing and packaging facilities, are principally located in North America and Europe with smaller sourcing and processing operations in Africa and China.

Higher margin products

As a general principle, SunOpta does not own or operate the company’s own farms, retail stores, or extensively market consumer brands. The company’s commitment and proactive approach to new product development and innovation drive SunOpta’s ability to introduce new higher-margin food and beverage products to the market.

In June 2015, the company expanded SunOpta’s research and development platform by opening an advanced innovation center in Edina, Minnesota. This facility supports the company’s dedicated team of food scientists, engineers, and technicians, expands SunOpta’s product development capabilities, increases the company’s speed to market, enabling to proactively engage customers in creating and developing new products.

Culture of innovation

The company’s innovation platform supports SunOpta’s leadership position in organic food and strengthens the company’s relationships with retail, foodservice, and contract manufacturing customers. This should serve shareholders well in the long term.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Nikhil Kumar has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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