Over the past five years, a deluge of new products introductions has helped pushed coconut water from the outskirts of the beverage industry to one of fastest growing and visible categories on the market. According to Mintel, a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence, new coconut water products have grown by 540 percent since 2008 with most brands utilizing health claims associated with the liquid to propel product launches.
Mintel found that North America and Europe led the way for new coconut water products launches in 2012, totaling 35 percent and 34 percent of global coconut water introductions, respectively. The natural and electrolyte-laden beverage has been particularly popular with natural foods consumers in the U.S. who often consume it as a sports drink.
“Coconut water is doing particularly well in the US because both sports recovery drinks and vitamin-enhanced waters are well-established—much more so than in other countries—meaning that people already buy into the benefits of electrolytes in a beverage,” said Jonny Forsyth , global drinks analyst, Mintel.
Additionally, coconut water has latched onto growing demand for low-fat and low-calorie beverages. Labeling claims promoting low fat/calorie aspects of coconut water accounted for 47 percent of all coconut water claims in 2012. Meanwhile, low/no/reduced allergen and gluten-free followed with 43 percent of all claims, environmentally-friendly packaging amounted to 42 percent and natural came to 40 percent.
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