Almond milk producer Califia Farms has raised $225 million from global investors including Singapore’s Temasek Holdings who are looking for the next plant-based food hit after the market debut of vegan burger maker Beyond Meat last year.
The Los Angeles-based company said on Tuesday its latest funding was led by Qatar Investment Authority and included Temasek Holdings, Canada-based Calridge, Hong Kong’s Green Monday Ventures and a Latin America based family with big interests in coffee and consumer products.
The investor rush into plant-based milk comes as cow milk consumption is falling, partly due to health and environmental reasons, leading to two of the largest dairy producers in the United States – Dean Foods and Borden Dairy Company – filing for bankruptcy protection in the past two months.
Annual cow milk sales fell to around $12 billion in 2019 from $15 billion in 2015, while almond milk sales have risen nearly 6% to $1.35 billion and oat milk a whopping 662% to $59.8 million in 2019, according to market research firm Nielsen.
It plans to use the money raised from the latest funding to launch more plant-based milks and expand its line of oat products, a growing category in the plant-based market.
Founded in 2010, Califia Farms is the third largest U.S. plant-based milk company after Danone and privately-held Blue Diamond, according to market research firm Euromonitor.