When it comes to chasing innovation, Califia Farms co-founder and CEO Greg Steltenpohl follows one simple rule.
“If you’re not going to be first, you gotta bring something better to the table,” he told BevNET at the Winter Fancy Foods Show 2019 in San Francisco earlier this week. “That’s the foundation of why Califia does anything.”
In this case, the category is oat milk, one of the hottest emerging segments of the thriving non-dairy milk alternative category. In this interview recorded at the show, Steltenpohl shared his thoughts as to why oat milk has captured the interest of consumers (and particularly coffee lovers) and the potential for oat milk to be integrated into Califia’s portfolio of RTD coffee drinks. He also discussed how Califia’s take on oat milk — which was sampled at the show and is set to launch next month in a “Barista Blend” SKU, to be followed by an unsweetened version in multi serve bottles in April — stands out from the crowd in an increasingly competitive set.
In addition, Brian Lovejoy, GM of coffee for Califia, sat down to chat about the forthcoming opening of Califia’s new coffee roasting facility in downtown Los Angeles and how it fits into the company’s overall growth strategy, as well as how Califia is working to bolster economic sustainability for farmers in the global specialty coffee market.