Expo West Video: Why Millennials are Key to Califia Farms’ Innovation Strategy

It came as no surprise that the lower level of the 2015 Natural Products Expo West was a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity. Often referred to as “the basement,” the floor featured seemingly endless rows of new and early-stage brands, many of which showcased their wares on tiny tables and homemade backdrops.

The Califia Farms booth was cavernous by comparison. Sprawling with staffers, the custom-crafted tabernacle was packed with large coolers and waist-high displays, offering a powerful showcase of Califia Farms’ vast range of cold-brew coffee drinks, almond milks and bulbous-bottled citrus juices.

However, the company made perhaps its biggest statement with the debut of its “Califia Café” platform, which promotes at-home preparation and customization of coffee drinks by way of its new cold-brew concentrate and almondmilk products. And who is Califia targeting with this new brand concept? Millennials, of course.

Describing millennials as “leading the way now,” Califia Farms CEO Greg Steltenpohl and his team are focused on an innovation and marketing strategy that targets consumers within the demographic set. Steltenpohl sees millennials not only as the primary consumers of Califia products, but the key to developing traction with older generations including Generation X and Baby Boomers.

“The relationship that a lot of Baby Boomers have with their millennial children, that whole transference around what’s cool and what’s good to drink or eat… is driven by the millennials, but adopted by the other two generations,” he said.

The development of its new cold-brew coffee concentrate speaks directly to that approach, Steltenpohl noted.

“The truth is that this product was adopted first already by the hip millennials, and we’re just trying to make it easier to access, give it a better price point and keep that quality at the same level that they will endorse,” Steltenpohl said.

Watch this video in full to hear much more from Steltenpohl about Califia Farms’ approach to consumer education and how the company has positioned itself to scale for rapid growth. Steltenpohl also shares his views on the almond milk category as a whole and why the beverage is better for blending that its dairy-based counterparts.