The coconut water craze has landed and is mainstream. It has been for a while. I actually gauge my mainstream by Costco standards. If Costco offers a variety and options of a product then it’s mainstream. Now, I would like to start off by my views do not directly reflect the views or beliefs of the owners of Intrepid Athletics. These and all posts are of my own views. While I do support local farmers by frequenting the farmers market and supporting local storefront occasionally I will go out of my way back into the corporate ocean and swim around.
Coconut water has been around since, well, since humans figured out how to get into those husk covered gems of awesome. (Ask me to tell you the story of my battle with opening my own coconut. It will surely brighten your day.) It takes a very sharp knife and a steady hand. It’s almost too much trouble and for what? Oh right. A large hit of potassium and a pleasant variation from water. For those of us who don’t ahve the time or giant machetes to get into a coconut we turn to the pre packaged waters sold in our local grocery stores. I’ve taken the top 4 most popular brands and put them through my own tests.
The big four are Zico, C2O, Harmless Harvest and VitaCoco. All brands can be found at most grocery stores and vary in price.
Zico is based in Huntington beach and was founded in 2004. The can be found at Trader Joes, major grocery chains and sell a variety of flavors including Chocolate. Their blue plastic bottle with white logo is readily recognizable and they market heavily to athletes.
C2O (Sold at the Intrepid Store) got it’s start in long beach in 2008. Found at most major grocery chains the standout feature of this water is that there are two varieties. With and without coconut meat or pulp. They source their young coconuts from Thailand. Don’t let the cans fool you, there is no tinny taste to be had here. The company is proud of their community driven heritage and supports many local events.
Vita Coco based in New York was started in 2004 Their blue tetra packs are flexible and are recyclable. Found at Costco and major grocery chains Vita Coco offers various fruit enhanced flavors. It appeals to those with a sweeter tooth.
Harmless Harvest is the newest addition to the coconut water companies getting their start in 2010. Based in San Francisco, Their current market is Whole Foods nationally and smaller retailers in the Bay Area. They also happen to be sold at Costco in Culver City. Their simple logo and green top reflect their simplistic no heat, high pressure approach at processing.