After partnering with Sunsweet Naturals and achieving national distribution through UNFI last year, C2O now finds itself as a company on the rise — albeit one that is facing many new second-generation entrants into the highly competitive coconut water category.
In a recent interview, BevNET CEO John Craven sat down with Adam Biggs, the vice president of sales and marketing of Long Beach, Calif.-based C2O, to discuss the three year-old company’s search for traction.
Biggs specifically pointed out two competitive advantages: C2O’s use of single plantation sourced coconuts from inland Thailand, and its aluminum packaging.
“It’s a totally different coconut in South America and Brazil than in Thailand,” Biggs said. “We use a very specific varietal of coconut that is much more coconut-y and has a slightly sweeter taste profile, and that’s been a huge point of differentiation for us.”
Biggs explained that C2O’s package, a 17.5 oz. aluminum can, is priced in-line with most 11 oz. Tetra-Pak boxes, which are still the chief format for the category. And while Tetra-Pak is recycled internationally, in the U.S. it exists largely outside the recycling stream — a potential issue for environmentally conscious consumers. According to Biggs, the can also stands out among other coconut waters on the market by preserving the product’s quality and flavor and providing it with a two-year shelf life.
“We haven’t seen any plateauing [of the category] of any kind yet – it’s still growing at an incredible rate,” Biggs said. “And we think for pure coconut water, C2O is the best tasting on the market, and it’s our hope that the category will get to the point where consumers want to make a decision on coconut water based on taste.”