Processors to Watch in 2019: Califia Farms—Pioneer of plant-based beverages
Something Different. Something Better.” isn’t just a brand tagline. For Los Angeles-based Califia Farms, it represents who Califia is as a company.
That’s because Califia seeks to discover and share “what plants can do” to achieve whole body health and improve the environment.
Founded in 2010, Califia, the name inspired by Queen Califia, the mythical namesake of California, started by juicing Cuties. Then, in 2012, Califia rolled out its first cases of artisanally-made almondmilks, which was later followed by the expansion into other plant milks, non-dairy creamers and better half, cold brew coffee and probiotic dairy-free yogurts.
At a Glance
Company Name: Califia Farms
HQs: Los Angeles
Distribution: Nationwide, Canada, Australia and UK
Products: Plant-based milks, citrus juices, non-dairy creamers, cold brew coffees and probiotic dairy-free yogurt drinks.
No. of Employees: 200
Brands: Califia Farms
“Califia’s push into dairy-free yogurt is a good example of how we innovate,” says Greg Steltenpohl, co-founder and CEO. “For 2.5 years, the brand dedicated a team to creating a unique plant-based blended base using almondmilk, coconut cream and oats that was both smooth and creamy, and kept the probiotics thriving without sugar.”
Additionally, Califia is said to be the pioneer behind its curvy and grippable PET bottles used for its plant milks, non-dairy creamers, cold brew coffee and probiotic yogurts. Inspired by Greek amphoras, Ming Dynasty vases and French water carafes, the packaging helps with consumer recall and connectivity, especially when products are shelved in different areas, says Steltenpohl.
“The thin neck also makes it easier for consumers to grab and pour, [thus] reducing spillage and mispouring,” he adds.
Califia also recently expanded its Bakersfield, Calif., plant, which tripled the company’s capacity for existing product and helped accommodate the production of new probiotic dairy-free yogurt drinks.
In July, Califia secured more than $50 million in funding to help “further our vision of becoming a leading plant-based food and beverage company and enhance our efforts around sustainability, innovation, health and wellness and consumer experiences,” says Steltenpohl.
Califia Farms is said to be the pioneer behind the grippable, PET bottles used for its plant milks, cold brew coffees, non-dairy creamers and probiotic dairy free yogurt offerings.
Califia is also playing in the e-commerce space with an assortment of products, including the recent launch of Unsweetened Almondmilk, which comes in a 32-ounce carton that does not require refrigeration.
“As an independent company, Califia Farms is able to holistically act on its founding values and remain transparent about its business, products and people,” Steltenpohl says. “Consumers are wise to brand values and transparency, recognizing when a brand is acting on its values or around financial interests.”