iTi Tropicals President Discusses Coconut Water Sustainability, Sourcing and Authenticity

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. — In an important address at the May 16 Foodnews Juice Asia 2013 symposium in Bangkok, Thailand, iTi Tropicals, Inc. President Gert van Manen advocated that coconut water is a compelling ingredient with a bright future in the food and beverage market if it is labeled accurately. Van Manen’s speech, “Coconut Water: Fad or Sustainable Ingredient?” discussed the availability, benefits, technical challenges, market expansion and methods of delivery for coconut water. He also talked about issues of ethical sourcing, sustainability and authenticity.

iTi Tropicals, Inc., a food ingredient company specializing in premium tropical flavors, has been developing and importing coconut water for the past nine years. Van Manen believes that coconut water is not a fad; it is here to stay. In his address, he also noted issues that, without proper attention, could derail coconut water’s long-term success in the marketplace. While consumer interest remains strong, he expressed concern that not all coconut water beverages are labeled accurately. Some products appear to have added sugar that is not disclosed on the label.

Van Manen said, “There is a big market for sugar-added beverages––much bigger than the market for 100% juice. But these products need to be labeled correctly.” Van Manen fears that consumers who don’t want the added sugar will be unhappy if they discover they are drinking a sugar-added beverage. He believes that regulators won’t be happy either. “This is why we spend so much time traveling the world to select and understand supply. It’s crucial for us to know who we’re doing business with. And we always test for authenticity.”

To view Gert van Manen’s complete presentation on “Coconut Water: Fad or Sustainable Ingredient?” for Foodnews Juice Asia 2013, please

iTi Tropicals, Inc., a leader in the coconut water and coconut cream ingredient category, offers customers numerous options that include coconut cream, single-strength coconut water, young coconut pulp and coconut water concentrate. An independent company headquartered in Lawrenceville, N.J., iTi Tropicals’ sole business is importing high-quality tropical and exotic fruit purees and concentrates. They source the globe for manufacturers who meet their quality standard for tropical and exotic fruits.

In operation since 1988, iTi Tropicals has become a leading U.S. supplier of processed exotic tropical fruits. Domestically, the company maintains an extensive inventory of both frozen and aseptically packed tropical and exotic fruit purees, juices and concentrates. Their products include coconut water and cream, banana, guava, papaya, mango, passion fruit, açaí, acerola, mangosteen, tamarind and dragon fruit. iTi Tropicals constantly searches the world for new, commercially viable tropical fruit flavors.

Foodnews Juice Asia, now in its seventh year, provides a forum for the latest analysis of juice supply and demand trends in Asia and their impact on the global juice trade. This discourse enables the industry to capitalize on opportunities offered by the region’s increasing production and consumption of juice.