Sugary sodas making way for the coconut water charge

A leading UK-headquartered market research firm, Technavio, is predicting that from 2016 and up to 2020 the projected growth of the global coconut water market is likely to be close to a whopping 27 per cent.

While other studies have estimated that the growth in demand for coconut-related products in general was likely to increase significantly, going forward, the 27% growth estimate for the coconut water consumption is likely to be of significant interest to coconut producers, though the downside of this prediction is what other reports say is the unlikelihood that the global production of coconuts will match the multi-faceted demand for the fruit in the years immediately ahead.

The anticipated increased demand for coconut water, the study says, has to do, chiefly with the role it plays in meeting “consumer demand for drinks that are free from artificial flavours, sweeteners, preservatives, additives, and gluten.” Another major reason for the increased demand for packaged coconut water, the report says, is its role “in reducing blood pressure.” Some of the other highly touted health benefits of coconut water include weight reduction, enhanced skin texture, and improved digestion.

The Technavio report says that the growing popularity of coconut water in foodservice chains will also contribute to the growth of the overall market during the forecast period. It says that many restaurants and eateries in the United States are offering health beverage products, including coconut water, as a mainstream drink in their menus.

The sustained growth in the popularity of coconut water, the report says, is due to the significant shift from high-sugar carbonated soft drinks to more natural drinks, while innovation in the production process is witnessing the advent of new product introductions on the market including flavoured coconut water.

With some of the major global market players including Coca-Cola, Pepsico and Red Bull having made significant investments in the industry in regions across the globe, the market is likely to witness “tremendous growth” during the forecast period, the report says. The various major investments will have a positive impact on the overall market with price, quality, product differentiation, distribution, and promotion becoming the key factors that will form the basis of competition among the heavy hitters. Market success, the survey says, will weigh heavily on innovations in terms of blending, flavour, and taste, which will be key elements in retaining customer loyalty. The study also notes that the low capital cost involved in setting up bottling plants for coconut water is attracting more players into the market, a development which it says will further intensify competition in the industry.

Global consumption of coconut water is estimated to have increased by as much as 40% between 2013 and today, a trend that is expected to sustain itself, going forward, on account of the increasing availability of the product and an growing worldwide health awareness.

The overwhelming majority of the world’s top ten coconut-producing countries are situated in the Asia-Pacific region, making the region an undisputed market leader in the production of coconuts. Estimates suggest that by 2022 the region will be producing up to 680 million litres of coconut water, annually.

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