Orange juice for breakfast is no longer a thing. We have a trend of coconut water being the main beverage.
The “it” list of celebrities such as Rihanna, Madonna or Matthew McConaughey, the rarest form of coconut water extracted from the aromatic varieties of the nut, is the MVP of drinks right now.
Coconut water is sold as a luxury good, with up to US$7 for 33 cl.
A rising market
The coconut market is rising with the greatest of speeds. Or to put that into statistical terms, coconut water as of now represents an annual turnover of US$2 billion. It is predicted to reach US$4 billion in the next five years.
In 2007, a 25% stake in Vitacoco, the coconut water giant, was sold for US$7 million to Verlinvest company. Seven years later, another 25% stake in Vitacoco was again sold to Red Bull China for around US$166 million.
There are other valuable business in the coconut water market, that includes Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, but more than 200 brands are now producing coconut water.
An essential crop
However, there is something behind it. The coconut is one of 35 food crops listed in Annex 1 of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and thought of as crucial to global food security. In 2014, the Food and Agriculture Organization estimated the global production to be around 61.5 million tonnes.
It is a valuable livelihood crop for beyond 11 million farmers, from which the majority are smallholders, cultivating coconut palms on around 12 million hectares of land in at least 94 countries around the world. The coconut palm is also known as the “Tree of Life” due to it being useful from the root to the fruit.
Copra – the dried inner meat of the nut, used for oil and the husk, which provides a vital source of fibre are the main product. As of recently, there is a high demand for tender coconut water and virgin coconut oil as well.
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