Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 9

change the material basis of that but rather to organize that.
"And if we stay true to that we can create a product
that is great for consumers, that they feel great about eating
because it comes from plant material they're familiar with
and presents to them in the exact same way that a piece
of animal meat would. We're not there yet in terms of the

overall sensory experience, but we're getting closer every
year, and the best part about this project is that our target is
standing still...
"The ability to make the animal a more efficient
delivery mechanism for meat is limited. Our ability to keep
increasing efficiency of our system is almost unlimited." ▪

The modern-day milk man

G

reg Steltenpohl's quest for dairy-case domination
began several years ago in a Memphis hospital. A
couple years prior, he launched Califia Farms as a
juice brand in partnership with Sun Pacific, the producer
of Cuties mandarins. He partnered with the fruit farmer
to squeeze the bruised and blemished crop into ready-todrink refreshers. Previously, Mr. Steltenpohl co-founded
and led the Odwalla juice brand before Coca-Cola acquired
it in 2001.
But in 2012, a personal health crisis opened Mr. Steltenpohl's eyes to a new opportunity. As he recovered from a
liver transplant, inspiration struck to pivot the business to
plant-based beverages.
"I got a new lease on life and came back with a renewed
charge to make a real difference," Mr. Steltenpohl said.
"Because there weren't very many well-made protein drinks
for people recovering from surgery or any major traumatic
event, I started studying this and turned my attention to
plant milks and plant proteins."
Since then, Los Angeles-based Califia Farms has become one of the fastest-growing natural beverage companies in the country, offering dozens of dairy-free alternatives
to milk, creamers and yogurt drinks
packaged in distinct bottles and
made from almonds, cashews, oats,
coconut or peas.
In addition, the company offers
bottled coffee beverages and is preparSOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY/MONICA WATROUS
ing its first foray into plant-based foods
with the launch of butters and spreads
Monday Ventures and a Latin Amerin March, Mr. Steltenpohl said.
ican family with interests in coffee
"Discovering a delicious way
and consumer products.
to get plant protein without genetic
The latest funding round will
engineering became a cornerstone
help Califia Farms further invest
of our product development," Mr.
in increased production capacity,
Steltenpohl said. "Our vision is to
substantial research and developcompletely transform what people
ment, deeper U.S. penetration and
- Greg Steltenpohl,
used to call 'the dairy case' into a
continued expansion to internationCalifia Farms
plant-based wonderland."
al markets, where demand for plantIn January, Califia Farms raised
based products is accelerating.
$225 million in a Series D financ"This is a very different climate
ing led by the Qatar Investment
from when I came up, the post-hipAuthority, with other investors, including Singapore-based
pie, early natural food pioneer days in the '80s and '90s..."
Temasek, Canada-based Claridge, Hong Kong-based Green
Mr. Steltenpohl said. "Now it's just a global imperative." ▪

'Our vision is to
completely transform
what people used to
call "the dairy case"
into a plant-based
wonderland.'

March 3, 2020

Food Business News

9



Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020

Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020
Commentary - Mind the gap
What's in store for retail?
The plant-based revolutionaries
The Amazon effect
News
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 2
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - Commentary - Mind the gap
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - What's in store for retail?
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 5
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - The plant-based revolutionaries
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 7
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 8
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 9
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 10
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 11
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 12
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 13
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - The Amazon effect
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 15
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 16
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 17
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - News
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 19
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 20
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