Coca-Cola acquires stake in coconut water company

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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ATLANTA — The Coca-Cola Co. on Sept. 1 became one of several investors to acquire a stake in Hermosa Beach, Calif.-based Zico Beverages, L.LC., makers of Zico Pure Premium Coconut Water. In acquiring a minority stake of less than 20%, Coca-Cola follows Purchase, N.Y.-based soft drink competitor PepsiCo, Inc. into the coconut water market. PepsiCo bought Brazil’s largest coconut water producer, Amacoco, in mid-August.

"This support from such an exciting and influential consortium of investors certainly validates the broad potential we’ve known Zico had from the outset," said Mark Rampolla, founder and chief executive officer of Zico. "Building on our established momentum and powered by this new investment, we plan to introduce the Zico brand and its natural health benefits to a much larger mainstream audience, which has always been our mission."

The $15 million investment was led by Coca-Cola North America’s Venturing and Emerging Brands business unit.

"V.E.B. continues to seek out burgeoning brands that have the potential to change the way consumers look at beverages," said Deryck van Rensburg, president and general manager, V.E.B. "Combining the natural goodness of Zico, the combined marketing acumen of Zico’s team and suite 850 and the brand building expertise of V.E.B. certainly makes for an innovative partnership."

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