US: Coca-Cola Co takes control of Zico coconut water

By | 12 April 2012

The Coca-Cola Co now has majority control of Zico

The Coca-Cola Co now has majority control of Zico

The Coca-Cola Co has bought a further - unspecified - stake in Zico Beverages, giving it majority control of the California-based company.

The soft drinks giant confirmed the purchase, through Coca-Cola North America's Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB) unit, today (12 April), but declined to give specific figures covering the size of stake bought or the amount paid.

"We’ve acquired an additional stake in Zico," said Coca-Cola. "The additional stake validates the broad potential we’ve known Zico had from the outset and is the natural progression for successful brands in which VEB has an interest.”

Coca-Cola acquired a minority 20% stake in Zico, which produces the coconut water brand of the same name, in September 2009. 

In December 2010, PepsiCo became the majority owner of rival coconut water seller O.N.E. when it increased its stake in the company. PepsiCo also owns the Brazilian coconut water company Amacoco.

Coca-Cola said the further investment would allow the two companies to expand the Zico brand and the coconut water market.

The product has been rolled out in the UK and Barcelona, Spain, with the company eyeing markets in France and the rest of Spain.

Founded by Mark Rampolla in 2004, Zico tripled sales between 2010 and 2011, according to the website of its advertising agency, Ignited.

Expert analysis

Coconut Water 2012

The market for coconut water beverages grew 100% in 2011 taking the combined retail sales value of the US and European markets to over $265 million (€196 million). The achievement is all the more amazing because it’s a premium-priced category. The market is expected to grow another 50% in 2012. This report sets out which brands are successful and why and defines the key drivers for the coconut water phenomenon.

Sectors: Mergers & acquisitions, Soft drinks, Water

Companies: Coca-Cola Co, PepsiCo

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