Julia Buech
Julia Büch is a Food and Drink Analyst, specialising in delivering insights on issues affecting the German market, providing analysis across a range of categories.

Low in calories and rich in electrolytes, coconut water has come to enjoy global popularity. Three quarters of Indians and over two in five Brazilians report that they drink coconut water. Across Europe, it’s particularly popular amongst Millennial and Gen Z consumers. According to Mintel’s research on Germany’s juice market, over two in five German Millennial and Gen Z claim to drink coconut water.

While coconut water enjoys popularity as a standalone product, it also serves as an ingredient in fruit juice, as it can help brands reduce the overall sugar content while maintaining 100% juice claims.

Promote coconut water as a sugar reduction solution while maintaining 100% juice claims

Over the past three years, 17% of global coconut water launches annually came mixed with other fruit juices. While not a new concept, there is room for juice brands to take a more overt approach in promoting coconut water as a sugar reduction solution on pack.

Orange, Pineapple & Peach Juice

Granini Orange, Pineapple & Peach Juice, launched in Switzerland, has been reformulated, now containing 30% less sugar thanks to the addition of coconut water.

Beyond hydration: boost functional appeal

As competition in the healthy drinks category increases, brands have the opportunity to upgrade the functional appeal of coconut drinks.

Blueberry Flavored Nutrient Enhanced Water Beverage

Core Organic Hydration Blueberry Flavored Nutrient Enhanced Water Beverage has been relaunched under a new brand name, previously known as Core Organic, and in a newly designed pack. The USDA Organic and kosher certified product contains 4% juice, 1g of sugar and 10 calories per bottle, and is flavored with other natural flavors. It is said to support daily immunity with zinc, is free from GMOs and caffeine, and retails in a BPA-free recyclable pack.

The future is sparkling for coconut drinks

Coconut water brands can profit from the dramatically changing soft drink landscape by offering sparkling better-for-you alternatives to traditional, often sugar-laden or artificial carbonated soft drinks (CSDs).

Lemon Cardamom Sparkling Juice Drink with CBD

Vita Coco Infused Lemon Cardamom Sparkling Juice Drink was launched in the UK and is described as a refreshing sparkling CBD drink made from concentrate and flavoured with natural extracts. The product contains 20mg CBD extract, and retails in a 330ml recyclable can. According to the manufacturer, coconut water and hemp work together to achieve the ultimate balance of body and mind. While coconut water is supposed to replenish the body with naturally occurring electrolytes, hemp extract is said to soothe from within.

What we think

Coconut water addresses consumers’ growing desire for healthier and naturally functional drinks. While a popular stand-alone product, it also serves as an ingredient in fruit juice, as it can help brands to promote lower sugar content while maintaining 100% juice claims. Meanwhile, as competition in the better-for-you drinks arena is growing, coconut water brands should differentiate their products by taking functional benefits to the next level and by exploring sparkling formulations that can stand in as healthier CSD alternatives.