Innocent launched its coconut water brand in the UK in May

Innocent launched its coconut water brand in the UK in May

Global coconut water consumption has leapt in the last ten years, with growth expected to remain in double digits this year, according to new research.

In its ‘Soft Drinks Market Insights' series of reports, published this month, Canadean reports that consumption has risen by 60% over the last ten years, driven mostly by Asia and Latin America. Coconut water has only recently taken off in North America and Western Europe, however: In the US, volumes have jumped from less than 500,000 litres in 2004 to nearly 200m litres in 2014.

“Coconut water is heralded as being low in fat, calories and sodium and therefore good for rehydration after moderate exercise,” says Canadean. “It also has more potassium than a banana which is good for curing a hangover. Critics however are dubious as to the actual health benefits of coconut water, and how it is different to just drinking water in terms of hydration.”

More companies joining the coconut scene

Canadean’s data reveals that in 2014, 587m litres of coconut water were sold worldwide with consumption expected to rise by a further 15% in 2015. PepsiCo and The Coca-Cola Co have both invested in this movement with their brands O.N.E and Kero Coco and Zico, respectively.

“The trend is only set to continue as more of the world is turning towards healthy, low-calorie soft drinks alternatives,” said Canadean analyst Emma Wright.

Many new companies have joined the market, with existing older companies entering new markets or creating new pack sizes. In the UK, Coca-Cola's Innocent unit, best known for its portfolio of juices and smoothies, launched its own brand of coconut water earlier this year, in order to diversify its product range and offer something new to consumers. Meanwhile, in the US, Ferolito, Vultaggio & Sons, which specialises in iced/RTD tea drinks, has also released its own brand, CocoZona.

Many new brands were spotted in India, according to Canadean’s latest ‘India Soft Drinks Market Insight report’, such as Tendo (Pure Tropic), Cocjal (Jain Agro) and Real Activ (Dabur) all releasing their products in single serve cartons.