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Healthy innovation: Coco Colima on turning coconuts into everyday consumer products

By Niamh Michail contact

- Last updated on GMT

Mexico's leading coconut milk brand talks about new product development and how healthy drinks can compete with soda. "Coconuts have been popular in Mexico since forever. It's just that now companies are transforming them into everyday consumer products.”

A de Coco is the market leading brand in Mexico's ready-to-drink coconut milk category, according to its manufacturer, Coco Colima, a vertically integrated Mexican company that has been growing and processing coconut ingredients for 70 years. 

Around 60% of Coco Colima's sales come from B2B supplies while around 40% are from A de Coco and a further 10% from private label manufacturing.

“[Coco Colima] has control over its supply chain,” ​said Anahi Vargas, international trade executive at the company at ANTAD Alimentaria last week. "They have their own plantations, they harvest the coconuts, and they transform them into coconut milk, water, sugar, oil […] and more, and then work with retailers to bring them to consumers.

“The sourcing is Mexican, and it goes straight from our palms to your hand palms,” ​she added.

The brand counts around 5,000 points of sale in Mexico, and A de Coco’s best-selling products are its coconut milk and coconut water.

According to Vargas, coconut milk and water are “relatively new​” products in Mexico that have coincided with the global trend for coconut.

However, she added that coconuts have been popular in Mexico “since forever”.

“It’s just that now companies like A de Coco are working with the natural coconut and transforming it into everyday consumer products.”

Product development is important to the company, she said, and it has several new products in the pipeline, including new flavors and smaller, child-friendly formats. 

Vargas said that A de Coco’s products appeal to many different people but the company prefers not to pigeonhole its consumers into ‘types’.

“We don’t like to say ‘This is for young 24-year-olds’. We’re looking for [ways to] help you improve your life through food, and that thought crosses borders to Colombia, Chile, Argentina…

“We’re in the Middle East right now, you can find our products in Israel. We just recently started exporting to the US and we’re working to expand our products to reach global consumers.”

A de Coco has a segregated processing line for organic certification (USDA standard) if needed and is working towards non-GMO and fair trade certification.

Watch the video to find out more.

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