Vita Coco debuts new coconut milk beverage
Adding to its line of ready-to-serve coconut water beverages, Vita Coco is now offering a variety featuring a “lighter” taste, according to the company. Vita Coco is marketing the new beverage as a dairy alternative to milk.
Vita Coco says this product is part of the company’s plan to drive category level growth across its product offerings, which include coconut drinks as well as milk and oil products.
The beverage is made with 10% coconut cream, 60% coconut water and comes with vitamins and stabilizers.
Even as they have yet to become a staple among U.S. consumers, drinks featuring the liquid extracted from unripe coconuts with minimal amounts of sweeteners and flavorings have emerged in North America as a healthy, ready-to-drink alternative to carbonated beverages and processed juices.
The coconut water category itself has continued to skyrocket, dominating the alternative, plant-based waters market. Sales are expected to double from $2.7 billion last year to $5.4 billion by 2020, according to a report by Zenith Global reported on by the Beverage Industry. In a recent forecast of the U.S. coconut water market, Technavio analysts project a compounded annual growth rate of about 25% through 2019, due in part to more restaurants offering the drink on their menu.
“Kero Coco, a product of PepsiCo, has been slated as the most selling beverage in McDonalds and Pizza Hut outlets in Brazil,” Technavio said, predicting that coconut water will replace soda drinks in foodservice locations across North America.
Encouraged by the growth in the sector, Vita Coco, an early entrant to the market, is continuing to invest in the beverage with the rollout of its latest product. Proponents of coconut water have touted its benefits, such as antioxidants, prebiotics, minerals and electrolytes. Other options like maple water, which has about half the sugar and a much more subdued taste that can woo even the most skeptical drinker, are vying to grab some coconut water lovers but it appears to be an uphill climb to dethrone the established leader.
In a cross between Vita Coco’s beverage and milk product lines, the new formulation, according to FoodBev Media, is made from a blend of coconut water and coconut cream and will be marketed in the U.S. as a dairy alternative milk. The original formulation of Vita Coco’s coconut water is made from coconut water a small amount of fruit sugar.
With its new lighter formulation, Vita Cocoa appears to be trying to win over customers as well as mainstream restaurants with a product that will appeal to a greater numbers of consumers. The product, which will be packaged in bottle, also could cater to on-the-go consumers who are looking for a healthier and nutritious beverage that could replace a soda or sugary sports drink.
Earlier this year, there were reports that PepsiCo was in talks to acquire All Market, the owner of coconut water brand Vita Coco, for less than $1 billion. Vita Coco already has a dominant position in the marketplace, with a 26% share of a market worth $2.5 billion, according to data tracker Euromonitor International. The beverage's investors include Madonna, Demi Moore and Matthew McConaughey.
But Vita Coco is wise to look for new ways of growth that could help attract more coconut connoisseurs to the space, along with deep-pocketed buyers. This drink could be particularly attractive to people who are shunning traditional milk and turning to plant-based options. Still, the new Vita Coco blend could struggle to penetrate the market with other alternative-milk varieties made from soy, almonds and rice already popular with consumers.