Amid surging consumer demand for digestive health products, organic and fair trade coconut water company Harmless Harvest has launched a new line of probiotic beverages. Introduced at the 2017 Winter Fancy Food Show, held this week in San Francisco, Harmless Coconut Probiotics is a four-SKU line of “cultured coconut beverages” that are made with coconut water, coconut meat from young coconuts, active probiotic cultures and fruits. Packaged in 11 oz. bottles, the drinks are USDA certified organic, Fair for Life certified and available in four varieties: Original and “with” Strawberries, Blueberries & Acai, and Mangos & Acerolas.
The drinks, which contain no added thickeners or stabilizers, have a consistency similar to that of kefir. They will debut at Whole Foods stores in five states, including California, New York and Texas, along with a handful of independent natural retailers. Harmless Harvest is positioning the line as a convenient offering for consumers seeking portable nutrition with the added functional benefit of probiotics. In an interview with BevNET, CEO Giannella Alvarez said that the products, priced at $4.99, will be merchandised within the super-premium beverage set and that the company is encouraging shelf placement alongside the company’s coconut waters.
In this video, recently filmed at Harmless Harvest headquarters in San Francisco, we sat down with Alvarez, who discussed the development of the line, the company’s decision to innovate with probiotics, and how the products fit into its new zero-waste initiative, one focused on maximizing the use of its coconuts and other raw ingredients. Alvarez also explained why Harmless Harvest scrapped plans to launch a coconut-based yogurt in favor of the probiotic drinks and offered insight into its innovation strategy and pipeline.