By Kelly Cho
Coconuts for natural hydration
Vita Coco is a leading brand for coconut water and related products. Founded in 2004 by Mike Kirban and Ira Liran, the company touts celebrities like Madonna, Rihanna, and Matthew McConaughey as fans of its products. As the first line of natural coconut water in the U.S., Vita Coco was at the forefront of the coconut water boom in North America.
The version we tried–the ‘Original Coconut Water’–is extracted from young, green coconuts from Thailand (the company also sources from Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia). The flash pasteurized drink is rich in natural nutrients and antioxidants, such as Magnesium, Calcium, and Potassium. Due to its rehydrating properties, it’s a popular drink for post-workout, hangovers, and afternoon boosts. It also goes well in smoothies, chia seed pudding, and cocktails, and the company provides countless recipes on its website.
Like pure coconut water, the drink has a yellowish color and tastes slightly sweet and light. The aftertaste reminds me of pineapple. Overall, it’s pleasant and refreshing, even though it doesn’t compare to fresh coconuts–as one would expect. The company recommends that the beverage be consumed after refrigeration, which improves the taste, in my opinion. One thing to note is that it contains natural fruit sugar (less than 1%) and Vitamin C as additional ingredients.
There are a variety of other flavors, including ‘Pineapple,’ ‘Peach & Mango,’ and ‘Twist of Lime.’ The most common packaging for the coconut water line is the Tetra Pak carton, which is made from a BPA-free and 100% recyclable material derived from wood fiber. Vita Coco also makes a sparkling version of the beverage, coconut milk, and coconut oil.
The cult of coconut-related products isn’t going away anytime soon. The packaged coconut water market is expected to grow by US$5.6 billion from 2019 to 2023 (Business Wire). There are countless options on the market, but Vita Coco offers good variety at decent price points.
The ‘Original Coconut Water’ can be found at countless retailers and e-tailers. A 12-pack of 11.1 oz. bottles currently retails for US$18.99 on Amazon. –KC
Photos courtesy of Vita Coco.