Coconut water’s popularity can be attributed in part to its rich nutritional content. The sweet clear liquid, produced by young green coconuts, has long been touted as a natural remedy for kidney pains and various urinary tract infections. Natural coconut water is chock-full of potassium and electrolytes while going easy on fat and sugar values.
Companies have taken different measures to expand the market for coconut water and to adapt to local tastes. To make coconut water more consumer-friendly, companies have added a modern spin to the timeless drink with different innovations.
Among these innovations is the addition of sweet fruit flavours – a route undertaken by Wild Flavors, one of the leading proponents within the market. It has infused coconut water with flavours ranging from the common mango and strawberry to the more exotic ones like guava, acai and pomegranate berries.
The strategy to promote coconut water to specific target groups has also increased company sales. Vita Coco, one of the biggest coconut water players in the American market, promotes coconut water as a ‘hydration vacation’, a healthy cocktail drink for the young adult. The company O.N.E. Natural Experience is rolling out coconut drinks for mothers. Zico, the California-based dostinex sale fastest-growing coconut water company in 2009, targets sports enthusiasts, and particularly yoga practitioners.
The recent investments of PepsiCo and Coca-Cola in coconut water show that they are keeping their stakes in the industry. PepsiCo has acquired Amacoco, Brazil’s biggest coconut water company, while Coca-Cola has expanded its base with Zico.
As companies continually delve into the market, the health drink will undergo further innovations to increase its margin for sales and production. One such strategy will be the infusion of coconut water with other health drinks and wellness ingredients – spicing up coconut water with additional electrolytes, vitamin C and tea. This is an innovation which capitalises on the superfruit market. According to Wild Flavors senior manager for marketing trends and consumer research, Jessica Jones-Dille, superfruit flavours are “a hot button for consumers and therefore for new product development”.
The market for coconut water is expected to become crowded as more and more companies jump in to take advantage of its popularity. New market niches need to be carved out and industry players will have to come up with more innovations to beat out potential competitors in the years to come.