Uncategorized · September 15, 2009

Coconut Water

I was in Sandakan over the weekend and in the midst of sorting out claims receipts, i watched an interview between a newscaster and the CEO of Zico on CNN.

What was intriguing was that Zico is in the business of promoting coconut water. Zico is one of many companies in the US that is promoting the benefits of coconut water to elite atheletes.

It was intriguing to me because coconut water is something that i take for granted. It grows on a tree in the backyard and can be easily had anytime of the year.

However, here was a CEO of a company in the US, being interviewed over a product that we get in our backyard and he is talking about marketing campaigns, how they approached the Yoga community first as they were more in tune to Eastern remedies, and then followed that up with the fitness community and now looking towards the celebrity and athelete markets to promote their coconut water.

Their website is http://www.zico.com and the benefits of coconut water is that it works better than gatorade and any other sports drink to replenish our electrolytes, has 15 times more potassium than a banana, and other caloric and health advantages.

The coconut water that Zico sells is flavored. They have Natural, Passion Fruit, Mango and other varities and flavours.

Mentioned in the interview were some of their competitors: Vita Coco (http://www.vitacoco.com) , O.N.E Coconut water (http://onenaturalexperience.com).

Now, while my mind is still stuck on the fact that Americans are building a business on an item that i can get in my backyard in abundance, i read on the net that a Fortune 500 company is also involved in coconut water.

In a recnt news article, the Coca Cola company is reported to have invested about USD 15 million in Zico Coconut water. As you read the article though, it gets even more interesting. (http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2009-09/02/content_8643684.htm). The report goes on to say that the Coca Cola company is not the only beverage company to want to go into coconut water. PepsiCo had bought into Brazil’s largest coconut water producer.

The article also gives an insight as to why these soft drink giants are investing in coconut water. Sales of soft drinks have been decreasing whilst healthy drink sales have been rising. To maintain their advantage, these beverage companies are investing into the health drink market.

Another catalyst to this whole coconut water “craze” (not so sure how popular it is, but it sure seems crazy that such an abundant product can be sold this way and attract such big players) is that there have been advances in the storing of coconut water.

Once extracted from the shell, coconut water has a very short shelf life. Even refrigerated it degrades and may only last 3 days. To extend the shelf life of coconut water, pasteurization techniques similar to that for milk is used. i.e. high temperature, short-time pasteurization.

However, this pasteurization technique tends to reduce the nutritional value of the coconut water as well as its taste.

In 2007 a new and Patented technique for extending the shelf life of coconut water was developed. Basically a new cold preservation technology that could be used to preserve the benefits of coconut water.

The new process keeps the beverage fresh for up to 3 weeks, which allows it to be shipped internationally and sold in areas where coconuts do not grow naturally.

The main feature of the new bottling system is keeping the drink at a very controlled cold temperature throughout the bottling and shipping process. Once it reaches the retailer, the coconut water must remain at a very low temperature and away from too much light in order to keep it fresh. With this new technology, people across the globe will soon be able to experience the unique taste and refreshment that comes from drinking fresh coconut water.

This has led to a resurgence of coconut water as an alternate health drink.

Related websites that may be of interest are

FAO website that talks more on the new cold preservation technique

A food critic that has seen coconut water come and go..and stories of that fad

A runners blog on his use of oconut water in Marathons

For me, i took 2 coconuts from my mum garden yesterday and bottled it. I am going to run 6KM this evening and will be fueling with coconut water only…i want to see how it affects me..regardless of that, on top of gaharu. coconut is a must look into investment as well…

Will keep you all posted