Confusion may challenge coconut water market

by Keith Nunes
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The market leaders in the unsweetened category include such brands as Coco Libre, Naked, Purity Organics, Zico and Zola.

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. — Consumers may not realize there are two categories of coconut water, according to iTi Tropicals, a supplier to the market. One category features products that are formulated with coconut water sweetened with added sugars and the second segment features unsweetened varieties.

The sweetened coconut water category makes up approximately 75% of the market, according to iTi Tropicals. Leaders in the segment include such brands as Vita Coco and Goya.

But with consumers expressing concern about added sugars, there may be an opportunity for the makers of unsweetened coconut water varieties to grow. The market leaders in the unsweetened category include such brands as Coco Libre, Naked, Purity Organics, Zico and Zola.

“Consumers of these products are demonstrating an interest in the pure coconut water taste and the lower levels of total sugars they provide,” said iTi Tropicals. “As consumers continue to look for products without added sugars, we believe the unsweetened coconut water is poised for rapid growth.”

Confusion may arise in the category, because some sweetened coconut water brands do not label the fact they include added sugars.

“iTi is concerned that the continued sale of coconut waters with undeclared added sugars and other ingredients threatens to jeopardize consumer confidence in the category,” the company said.

The company is calling on all manufacturers of coconut water beverages to disclose whether they are a sweetened or unsweetened variety.
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