Product Launch - US: Thai Agri Food Co's FOCO Coconut Water

By | 24 September 2012

Click through to view Thai Agri Food Cos FOCO Coconut Water

Click through to view Thai Agri Food Co's FOCO Coconut Water

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Thai Agri Food Co's FOCO Coconut Water

Category - Soft drinks, coconut water

Available - From this month

Location - US, New York City, Duane Reade (Manhattan), natural food stores, supermarkets, groceries and delis

Price - Info not yet available. Product available in 50cl TetraPak

Importer - Vasinee Food Corp

Distribution - Exclusive Beverage Distributors

Thailand-based Thai Agri Foods and Vaninee Food importers have launched a coconut water brand in the US market.

FOCO Coconut Water is made with 100% South-East Asian coconuts, Vaninee said. A spokesperson for Vaninee told just-drinks the product is initially available in New York City with plans to launch nation-wide next year.  

In April, The Coca-Cola Co upped its stake in coconut water maker Zico Beverages to gain traction in the growing coconut water market. The coconut water market grew 100% in 2011 year on year, according to New Nutrition Business.

Show the press release

Vasinee Food Corp., the leading importer of Thai and Asian food products on the East Coast, and Thai Agri Food Co., a major Thailand-based food processing company, have announced the launch of FOCO 100% Pure Coconut Water in the United States.

The two companies have been selling FOCO brand coconut juice and coconut products in the U.S. for more than 25 years and FOCO is currently the leading brand in the ethnic market. The move into coconut water - a popular new beverage category - is a logical extension for Thai Agri and its exclusive importer, Vasinee.

The FOCO brand is being introduced with an aggressive advertising and point-of-sale merchandising campaign using the theme, GO LOCO FOR FOCO! The product website, golocoforfoco.com, features full product details, a retail store locator and distributor outreach information. Vasinee will also be promoting its new coconut water at the Natural Products Expo East, Sept 20(th) -22(nd), 2012 at the Baltimore Convention Center (Booth # 8319, New Products Pavilion).

"We believe that FOCO Coconut Water will become popular with consumers quickly because it tastes so much better than competing brands," says Nina Vatthana, President of Vasinee. "There is a good reason for this - the best tasting coconut water comes from young, green coconuts and that's all that Thai Agri uses in making FOCO Coconut Water." Vatthana adds that unlike other coconut water producers, Thai Agri has its own Southeast Asian coconut plantation, and controls the product from picking, processing and packaging through delivery to the U.S. Other brands use co-packers with mixed sources, which compromises the quality and taste of their coconut water. Thai Agri's FOCO brand is one of only a few coconut waters on the market that exclusively uses "single source" coconuts in its growing and manufacturing process, resulting in a higher quality product.

The first product in the FOCO 100% Pure Coconut Water line, a 500mL Tetra Pak(TM) carton, is in distribution now. The addition of all-natural tropical flavor splashes (pineapple, lychee, pomegranate, mango, and pink guava) will follow in early fall 2012, with one-liter sizes arriving soon after.

FOCO 100% Pure Coconut Water is now drawing attention not only for its superior taste but also because it's low in calories, nutrient-rich (5 essential electrolytes), and offers excellent, all-natural hydration properties. Some consider it a better hydrator than water and an excellent sports recovery drink.

The sole distributor for FOCO 100% Pure Coconut Water in New York City - the product's initial distribution area - is Exclusive Beverage Distributors. The distribution company and it's President, Steve Gress, are well known for launching the Vita-Coco brand in New York, which is now the #1 selling coconut water brand in America. After Vita-Coco left Gress to sign with Snapple in a nationwide distribution deal, many competing coconut water brands approached him about distribution. Gress decided to align himself with Vasinee's FOCO brand.

"We chose FOCO for a few reasons," says Gress. "First, because it's clearly the best tasting coconut water on the market. Second, because the FOCO name has been associated with premier coconut products in the U.S. for decades and has good brand recognition. And perhaps most importantly, because Vasinee and Thai Agri control the supply chain. Coconut water has been in such high demand, there have been shortages recently, and manufacturers are doing anything they can to get product, mostly by mixing sources. With FOCO, there will never be an issue with inventory shortage, and my customers are always assured of getting a consistently high-quality coconut water."

Vasinee's Vatthana believes that FOCO 100% Pure Coconut Water has a good chance of taking significant market share. "We have 25 years of experience successfully selling coconut-based food products and we've put a great team in place to support FOCO Coconut Water," says Vatthana. "We understand that there are bigger players in this category, but we have a huge advantage - we have the best tasting, purest coconut water in the world, and consumers are going to take notice."

Vasinee Food Corporation is the leading importer of Thai and Asian food products on the East Coast of the United States. Established in 1978 as a small family business, the company has grown to become one of the largest U.S. wholesale food distributors. Headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, Vasinee operates a 90,000 square foot warehouse, imports over 2,500 ocean freight containers yearly, and imports and distributes to wholesale distributors, independent supermarkets, supermarket chains, food service companies, restaurants, and grocery stores. With over 25 years of experience and two generations in the food business, Vasinee Food Corporation is considered a reliable, trusted food products partner focused on quality and customer service.

Original source: Company Release

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: Product launches, Soft drinks

Companies: Coca-Cola Co

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