After having its coming out party at last month’s Natural Products Expo East trade show in Baltimore, new coconut water brand Sri Lanka Gold will have its first production run in December, ahead of the high pressure processed coconut water brand’s official launch. Available in two SKUs – a 10 oz. and a 16 oz. – Sri Lanka Gold will enter a growing HPP coconut water space pioneered by the sub-category’s pioneer, Harmless Harvest.
As for the hefty challenge of competing with Harmless Harvest or any of its distant second place contenders like UNOCO, Invo or Pure Brazilian, Sri Lanka Gold is looking to separate itself from the pack by hanging its hat on Sri Lanka’s orange (or “gold”) king coconut, indigenous to the island country.
“Almost all of the coconut waters on the market are made from the young green coconut, which is grown in pretty much every tropical zone,” Sri Lanka Gold co-founder Sheri Pitigala says. “The king coconut, in comparison, offers a much more clean, refined flavor, without any aftertaste.”
Upon the brand’s inception, Pitigala, along with her husband Nihal, teamed up with New Jersey-based brand consulting firm Metabrand, who have worked side by side with the couple on Sri Lanka Gold’s business plan and packaging design, as well as the operational components of establishing a supply chain and route to market. Specific distribution channels have not yet been finalized, but according to Pitigala, Sri Lanka Gold will initially be available in specialty and gourmet retailers in the mid-atlantic and tri-state areas. The brand is also currently working towards achieving USDA organic certification and becoming certified Fair Trade.
Metabrand founder Eric Schnell says Sri Lanka Gold is arriving at the right place at the right time, as mainstream consumers are starting to become educated on the benefits of the HPP pasteurization process by big companies with marketing dollars to spend.
“There’s going to be so much awareness of it now,” Schnell says, pointing to The Coca-Cola Company’s recent $90 million investment in HPP juice brand Suja as an example. “So if coconut water is ultimately going to be the size category that the large players in the space believe it’s going to be, there are going to be large players in HPP coconut water as well.”