Marketing Nutrition Balance: Califia Scores a Bullseye

Follow the lead of this innovative brand and win consumers who are confused about certain foods and resist their demonization.

We’re a good or bad society. Maybe it’s our mainstream media and how it needs to make every story about either a hero or villain. Maybe it’s that we think you have to take a stand to make a point — again, for or against someone or something.

But for the confused nutrition consumer, these points of view make matters worse — we believe we have to cut certain foods from our diets or we’re all going to get diabetes, weigh a thousand pounds, become the next victim of cancer — or just drop dead waiting for the train.

We demonize:

  • Carbs
  • Fats
  • White flour
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Natural sweeteners — which leads me to the au currant demon of them all…
  • Sugar

But Califia has announced a brilliant piece of de-confusing around the (wrongly) loathsome white, powdery substance.

Senior Correspondent for, Elizabeth Crawford writes:

“As the war on sugar gains momentum, plant-based beverage company Califia Farms is cutting back the sugar content across its product portfolio by 40% while still offering consumers who want something sweet, options that are more in-line with World Health Organization recommendations for added sugar consumption.”


Ms. Crawford goes on to quote April Siler, a spokesperson for Califia:


“In under three years, we have reduced the sugar content in our product portfolio by 40%. So, that means, each and every single product has taken its sugar level down. So, we are really finding that balance of naturally sweet with less added sugar.”


In addition to products with some sweetness, Ms. Siler goes on to point out, Califia, “…has increased the amount of unsweetened products with zero added sugar that we have in our portfolio…”


Look at what this innovative — and far reaching brand has done: it’s giving consumers choices around sugar, without creating a foil or enemy; by saying, in essence, “Look, you don’t have to feel terrible about wanting sugar in your diet, but it’s a good idea to figure out where you spend your daily allotment.”


Sure, some consumers are going to balk loudly about any attempt to help them “budget” their sugar. But others are going to breathe a welcome sigh of sweet relief over the fact, they don’t have to pack their bags for a guilt trip, the hospital or crematorium every time they get that taste we all (mostly) love.


Brainstorm how your brand could profit from the gauntlet Califia has thrown down. A few thought starters:


  • Create lower and higher carb options of your products — same flavor variant, different macros
  • Formulate a “with and without” line — for instance, one product has a chocolate coating, the other doesn’t. Or one has the addition of nuts (higher fat) while the lower fat option does not
  • Offer a “plus protein” product, pairing a piece of insulin-muting meat or plant protein with your high carb/high sugar food


Read the entire article, Califia Farms balances demands for sugar reduction with desire for a touch of sweetness


Be digestible. And thanks.

Eric Kiker: Speaker

Author of The Digestible Brand: The Secret Sauce for Marketing Nutrition to the Confused Consumer

Agency Principal/LRXD

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