Celebrities like Madonna, Demi Moore, Lara Bingle and Rihanna love their coconut water and in the last couple of years, it has gained immense popularity.
Earlier, coconut water was just consumed during exotic holidays, but now it has taken the bevarage industry by storm. In the period between 2008 and 2012, the number of products including coconut water had quintupled and all the products were sold world-wide. From 17 per cent in 2008, the number of global coconut water introductions made a leap to 35 per cent in 2012.
In Europe, in the year 2012, 34 per cent products were launched and in Asia Pacific, 14 per cent, both of which showed an improvement from 13 per cent and 9 per cent in 2008 respectively.
Coconut water is considered a nutritional goldmine. In Brazil, the sales are about $300 million a year, and in the UK and US the sales have doubled, all because of investments by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Madonna, who gave $1.5 million to Vita Coco and encouraged Demi Moore and Matthew McConaughey to do the same.
The global drinks analyst at Mintel, Jonny Forsyth, said that coconut water contains high quantities of potassium, calcium and magnesium that has resulted in it becoming a popular sports drink. In the United States, it is doing well as it is considered both as a sports recovery drink and vitamin-enhanced waters. He added that the sales of these products have risen because of it being endorsed by celebrities.
It has been claimed that is is a low-fat health drink and can be considered a healthy alternative to sugar as it contains no artificial additives or sweetners. It is also cholesterol free, 99 per cent fat free and has less than 100 kilojoules of sugar for every 100 ml. It is loaded with zinc, selenium, iodine, sulfur, manganese, boron, molybdenum, ascorbic acid and B-group vitamins.
Tania Ferraretto, a practising dietitian, and Aloysa Hourigan, senior nutritionists, both at Nutrition Professionals Australia, disagree that coconut water is healthy. They say that they will not recommend it to their clients as it is overrated and doesn't have high nutritional content.
Coconut water is available in health food outlets and has been available in Asian supermarkets for a long period, but recently made an entry into the Australian supermarkets.