Not surprisingly, Epicurex VP sales Paul Kilbride, a former Coca-Cola sales executive on a mission to turn COCOZIA into the next big thing in the category - is convinced the answer to both questions is YES.
Launched in summer 2013, COCOZIA is USDA Organic and Kosher certified, non-GMO project verified and Fairtrade certified, and is set to release new mango, chocolate, coffee and pineapple flavors in March along with larger packs with re-sealable caps (it's currently in single serve 330ml tetrapaks with straws).
Available in Walgreens stores in South Florida, Amazon and other natural foods retailers, gyms, fitness centers and produce stands across the east coast; COCOZIA recently got a huge boost after Epicurex struck a deal with leading organic and specialty foods distributor UNFI, which as a starting point now offers the range to customers ordering from its DC in York, Pennsylvania.
Buyers are showing some signs of fatigue, but category still growing rapidly
While buyers are showing signs of coconut water fatigue, the category is still growing robustly, with sales still up in the triple digits, Kilbride told FoodNavigator-USA.
“You do have to counter that ‘not another one’ objection from buyers, but there really is nothing else like COCOZIA on the market. It’s only got one ingredient - organic coconut water - but it tastes incredible. It’s not from concentrate and nothing is added, no sweeteners or flavors, and it’s certified organic, but it’s affordable.
“The coconut water category is still being developed, although there are some leading players emerging such as Zico, O.N.E and Vita Coco. But if you have a good product there is still room for new brands as the category is growing so fast, as coconut water appeals to a very broad demographic.”