Convenience stores might not seem synonymous with healthy eating, but Califia Farms is here to change that idea. The company, perhaps best known for its plant-based milk and coffee offerings, has entered into the convenience retail space in a big way. I talked to Dan Mader, SVP of Sales, to find out about the company’s enhanced availability and how the company is continuously evolving to meet consumer needs.
“Traditionally, brands like Califia Farms have been found in natural and specialty stores. But as more consumers seek healthier and plant-based products, we’re seeing our brand and products resonate across all retail channels,” Dan begins, before telling me that people are looking for alternative on-the-go energy, all with low or no-sugar. “Our lineup of single-serve dairy-free cold brew coffees, probiotic yogurts, and high-protein almond milks meet this growing demand.”
Currently, Califia Farms is available at nearly 9,500 gas stations, convenience stores, and drug stores nationwide.
With a distribution footprint that size, I want to know how Califia Farms keeps up with the changing needs of the modern consumer, and Dan is more than happy to clue me in.
“Today’s consumers are more knowledgeable than ever before. They are cognizant that, historically, many convenience store shelves have been dominated by products that are high in sugar, made with artificial ingredients, and provide little to no nutritional value. Since 2014, Califia Farms has reduced the sugar content across the portfolio by 57 percent through increased unsweetened offerings and by lowering sugar in existing products,” he says.
Additional product launches, like the company’s Probiotic Dairy Free Yogurts, give consumers new breakfast options and capitalize on the continuing plant-based diet trend.
Califia attended this year’s NACS Show, which took place October 7-10 in Las Vegas. There, it featured its single-serve, ready-to-drink Cold Brew Coffees, Probiotic Dairy Free Yogurts, and two protein Almondmilks: Choc-a-Maca and Maca’Nilla.
All of Califia’s coffee options—Full Shot, XX Espresso, Salted Caramel, and Mocha Noir, to name a few—are made with 100 percent Direct Trade arabica beans, custom-roasted for a smooth taste. The Probiotic Dairy Free Yogurts feature Califia’s Culture Blend, which delivers 10 billion live cultures. It also features a unique blend of almond, coconut, and oat milks to make the yogurt smooth and creamy.
Choc‐a‐Maca and Maca’Nilla are made with Califia’s artisanally‐made Almondmilk and enriched with maca and plant‐based protein. These nutrient‐dense beverages perfectly balance taste and function. Both Maca‐‘Nilla and Choc‐A‐Maca have 8 grams of 100% plant‐based protein (derived from peas and brown rice) and 1000 mg of maca root powder.
Meeting at the intersection of convenience and flavor, Califia Farms is an innovator to watch.
“In 2019 we’ll continue our commitment to continuous product improvements, including sugar reduction by either lowering sugar in existing products or offering more unsweetened varieties,” Dan concludes. “We’ll also look for other ways to optimize our existing lineup and potentially introduce new products that meet consumer demand for nutritious, on‐the‐go products.”
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