Suntado LLC, a contract manufacturer of dairy and other beverages, has opened a 190,000-sq.-ft. production facility in Burley, Idaho.

With commercial readiness expected in time for Dairy Month in June, the facility can process up to one million pounds of local milk per day into shelf-stable and ESL milk and other liquid dairy products, many of which will be packaged in Tetra Pak cartons.

Located in the third-largest dairy-producing state of Idaho, the facility is owned by Dirk Reitsma and Jesus Hurtado, who respectively own 6,000 organic and 30,000 conventional dairy cows within 20 miles of the processing facility, supplying fresh local milk to the plant.

“This vertically integrated facility and our product offerings are completely different than anything out there right now,” says Tory Nichols, office of the CEO, Suntado. “I’m energized by the fact that we’ve built this plant from the ground up, creating a secure, locally sourced milk supply. This facility will offer countless brands the flexibility and scalability they seek, and Tetra Pak’s input and shelf-stable expertise has proven invaluable to our efforts along the way.”

This is Phase One of a three-phase project, with the ability to triple the capacity in the future. Operations will continue to ramp up throughout 2024, with an estimated 800,000 to one million pounds of milk processed every day in the next 12 months.

Suntado is not producing its own brand. This facility will instead enable retailers and national brands to create private-label beverage products.

The facility features Tetra Pak equipment, including:

  • Five shelf-stable and ESL packaging lines
  • Two TT/3 filling machines for production of Tetra Top packages in 500 ml, 750 ml and 1,000 ml sizes
  • Two A3/Flex aseptic filling machines for production of Tetra Brik Aseptic Edge packages in 500 ml and 1,000 ml sizes
  • One A3/Compact Flex aseptic filling machine for production of Tetra Prisma Aseptic packages with DreamCap 26 in a 250 ml size

“Shelf-stable products are one of the most exciting ways Tetra Pak is helping to move the beverage industry forward,” says Seth Teply, president and CEO of Tetra Pak U.S. and Canada. “With a longer shelf life and no need to refrigerate until opened, shelf-stable dairy products support the transformation of food systems by increasing access to safe food and reducing food waste. We’re excited that Suntado chose to work with us to create the innovative dairy and beverage facility of the future.”

Tetra Pak’s shelf-stable packaging allows food and beverages to stay safe for long periods of time without additives, preservatives or refrigeration before opening, offering cost savings and production efficiencies while minimizing food waste due to spoilage and reducing the environmental impact of the transportation and storage of finished goods. Additionally, Tetra Pak’s unfinished packaging material ships in a roll, reducing the cost and impact of freight and storage space.