Orange juice has been the “go-to” beverage for years and considered the world’s most nutritious drink in the 1950’s and 1960’s. But it isn’t just the favorite anymore and OJ sales have sunk to a new low over the previous 15 seasons. It has been found to be not as healthy or necessary for a balanced diet as it once was. The amazing nectar of coconut has now replaced this fruit juice.
Technavio estimates that coconut water sales take in around $2 billion a year and will most likely reach $4 billion within the next five years. Certain brands are being backed with the names of certain celebrities. There are more than 200 brands of coconut water now being sold. A 25% stake in Vitacoco, a coconut water brand, was sold for $7 million to Verlinvest and 25% sold to Red Bull China for $166 million in 2014.
PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have their own version of coconut water called Zico. According to their president and general manager they have watched the coconut water category spike impressively in revenue and household penetration over the past four years. White coconut is a fibrous one-seeded drupe, known as a dry drupe. Coconut can be a fruit, a nut and a seed.
Other drupe examples are olives and peaches and have these three layers:
· The exocarp, or outer layer
· The mesocarp, or fleshy middle layer
· The endocarp, the woody layer surrounding the seed
Coconut, in some form or other, has many functions and the potential to heal, treat, relieve and improve numerous maladies throughout your body, such as ulcers, throat infections, cavities, inflammation, urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, gum disease, pneumonia and hemorrhoids. Coconut water contains antioxidant properties and may help to protect against kidney stones, liver disease, osteoporosis, heart disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, breast, colon and other cancers. It will also relieve symptoms of gall bladder disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, prostate enlargement, stomach ulcers and reduce health risks associated with diabetes. Add to the above, it will kill fungi and yeast infections, diaper rash, ringworm, thrush, athlete’s foot and parasites.
A big draw is its remarkable ability to hydrate. A study compared the hydration ability of sports drinks, water and fresh coconut water after exercise and found them all to be comparable, but the coconut water reportedly caused less nausea and fullness without causing an upset stomach and volunteers reported they could drink more.
However, this big demand for the coconut water has made an impact upon the coconut crop in the Philippines, the largest producer in the world. Young coconuts are needed to produce the water, but older coconuts are to produce coconut oil, so the prices are going up fast. It also takes up to a year for a coconut to fully mature and some varieties can no longer be found. Disease is killing millions of palms in the South Pacific, Africa, India, Mexico, the Caribbean, Florida and New Guinea. The people who grow them are often unorganized and unaware of the threat to their very livelihood. The Conversation revealed that coconut water brands will make billions only as long as they are plentiful and diverse. Securing its future must be a priority for everyone who farms, eats and profits from the coconut.
–Dr Fredda Branyon