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Califia Farms taps into growing RTD coffee & dairy alternative beverage markets in Canada

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Mary Ellen Shoup

By Mary Ellen Shoup+

30-Mar-2017
Last updated on 30-Mar-2017 at 11:32 GMT2017-03-30T11:32:29Z

Califia Farms makes a push into Canada where it believes it will see similar success as it has in the US.
Califia Farms makes a push into Canada where it believes it will see similar success as it has in the US.

Califia Farms has rolled out its almond beverage and cold brew coffee ranges into Canada: a market where non-dairy alternative milks grew by 225% during a three-year period, with almond milk projected as the fastest growing segment, according to Allied Market Research. 

In 2016, almond milk brought in twice the amount of revenue of other milk substitutes accounting for 50% of nut-milk sales growth in the natural channel.

Currently available nationwide in the US, Califia Farms benefited from the surging consumer preference for almond milk since its launch in 2011 and the company expects to see similar performance in Canada where it will be sold in 400 retail stores including Whole Foods Market, Choices, Goodness Me, Thrifty Foods, Pusateri's, and Nesters.

“Canada is the first logical step in our international expansion," Califia Farms CEO, Greg Steltenphol, said.

The company also hopes to reach “millennial-minded consumers” of varying ages that are looking for clean-label beverage products with a lower environmental impact.

Califia products currently available in Canada include unsweetened almond beverage, original almond beverage, vanilla almond beverage, unsweetened vanilla beverage, XX espresso cold brew coffee and mocha cold brew coffee.

RTD coffee has also seen strong growth in Canada where sales grew by 26% reaching USD $51.7m (CA$69m) in 2016, according to Euromonitor.

In the US, Califia Farms cold brew coffee products outperformed Starbucks in the specialty refrigerated RTD coffee channel according to SPINS data for the 52 weeks ending Jan. 22, 2017.

All Califia products are vegan, dairy-free, GMO-free, soy-free, carrageenan-free, and gluten-free.

Packaging variations

While the liquid formulations and bottle shape remain the same and are produced in the same California facility as its US products, the Canadian version of Califia product labels read “almond beverage” instead of “almond milk” like its US counterpart.

Unlike the US, which does not strictly enforce the FDA’s definition of milk only coming from cows, major dairy alternative brands in Canada bear the “beverage” description instead of “milk.”

The packaging has been also been localized for the Canadian market and will include both English and French languages on the label.

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