UK coconut water manufacturer Chi Drinks today announced the launch of 5 new products to their already successful 330ml and 1 litre 100% pure coconut water. The fruit range includes a Mango, Pineapple and Tropical flavoured coconut water, made using high quality purees and naturally NFC fruit juices. In addition, Chi has launched two dairy free ‘coconut milks’ for drinking which include a Chocolate and a Coffee coconut milk. Both are low fat, highly nutritious alternatives to dairy milk and are prebiotic with added chicory fibre to aid in digestion. All five SKUs are packed in their distinctive 330ml Tetra Prisma with resealable Dreamcap closure.
“I’m thrilled to be able to expand our range,” says CEO Jonathan Newman. “Given the success of the natural range, I’ve been having requests from retailers for more products, and have worked with them to deliver some great flavours based on a tropical theme”.
“I really believe the new SKUs will be a game changer, especially our dairy free Chocolate and Espresso Coconut Milks. Not only are they incredibly tasty and beautiful to look at in their distinctive ‘black packaging’, but they are highly nutritious. Dairy free is a huge category, and these unique alternatives provides a great alternative to soya and rice milks.”
Amongst the first retailers to stock the new lines are Planet Organic and Wholefoods, both whom have had tremendous success with CHI’s natural range. Planet Organic reported that CHI was the best-selling drink in the entire business (out-selling water) during their March promotion. In it’s nascent existence, Chi saw a rapid and exponential growth during 2012 and has seen a 300% rise in the first quarter of 2013. Wholesaler Tree of Life reported that Chi was the fastest growing brand in the category and outsold all brands in their accumulative lives at Tree. Chi is now stocked across the country and is doing robust business in independents as well as some major chains including WH SMITH and Ocado. Indeed, stacked up next to major player, Vita Coco, Chi has been outselling the former market leader in both WH Smith and other retailers.
Commenting on the success of the product, Newman says “We’ve spent no money at all on above the line marketing and we don’t have A list actors or singers promoting our product. I think the success of CHI has to do with several things – strong visual design backed up by a great taste. In addition the resealable Dreamcap means consumers don’t have to drink it all in one go.”
Chi was started by Newman in 2011 after a trip to Thailand. Newman, who is a filmmaker by trade, juggles making films and running the business.
“It’s been a challenging couple of years,” Newman comments. “Last year I shot a $25m film and it was concurrently our first and the busiest year of trading for CHI. It’s also been a steep learning curve for me, as I do not have retail or manufacturing experience, so it’s been very much learning on the go and I’ve made my share of mistakes. That said, the business is going from strength to strength and expanding rapidly, and all of the challenges that comes along with running an expanding business have been ever present with this venture.”
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