by John Craven
On a recent visit to New York City, I had a chance to sit down with Vita Coco co-founder and CEO Mike Kirban at the company’s 14th street office.
2010 has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for Vita Coco, but ultimately it has ended up being what Kirban emphatically calls “an incredible year.” Coming off a year that really established the category as more than just a fad (a BevNET Best of 2009 Award didn’t hurt either), momentum was already high. However, big production issues loomed, with the product virtually disappearing from the shelves in many areas on April 1, according to Kirban.
But the company has rebounded in a big way, landing a deal with Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS), which Kirban announced at BevNET Live Summer 2010. After securing production capacity to meet anticipated demand through 2014, they’ve also ramped up production significantly.
And just how much production do they need through 2014? A lot, with Kirban telling me that he expects the brand to cross the $100 million mark in 2011. He says he’s the front-runner in a category that’s poised to be worth billions of dollars.
Still, it’s a long way from the as-yet unachieved $100 million to $1 billion. So how is Vita Coco going to have a $100 million year in 2011? According to Kirban, it’s really about continued execution of what they’ve already been doing on the marketing front (guerilla-style marketing that’s made the brand hip) while increasing their distribution (through DPS) and retail footprint, including a push in club-channel behemoth Costco.
In the video, you’ll hear Kirban talk about his plans for growth, Vita Coco’s marketing efforts, his thoughts on the category and his competition, and what the future holds for the coconut water.