Califia Farms, a plant-based food and beverage company, announced that Dave Ritterbush has been named chief executive officer. Greg Steltenpohl, plant-based pioneer and the company’s founder will retire as CEO and remain on the board as an executive director.
Ritterbush, a CPG industry veteran, has a proven track record of successfully leading food and beverage brands and elevating them to new heights, most recently as president and CEO of Quest Nutrition. He guided the company to a $1 billion acquisition last year by The Simply Good Foods Co. He has also served as CEO of the better-for-you snack company popchips, and helmed Premier Nutrition Corp., maker of Premier Protein and Power Bar. Additionally, Ritterbush served as a vice president and general manager of Red Bull North America and had a long tenure at Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream.
Steltenpohl founded Odwalla Juice Company before launching Califia Farms in 2010. Under his direction, the company experienced meteoric growth and became a leader in premium, plant-based beverages.
The burgeoning plant-based food and beverage category is currently valued at $5 billion and is growing five times the rate of total food sales. In January 2020, Califia announced a $225 million Series D financing to fuel its innovation and growth. Califia expanded its successful plant-based milk portfolio by introducing a new oat platform in 2019. The company recently added Plant Butters to its leading portfolio of plant-based milks, creamers, yogurts and cold brew coffees.