A beloved beverage that Coca-Cola dropped from its portfolio last year is making a comeback under new ownership and a new name.
Zico coconut water was discontinued amid Coca-Cola's significant product cuts last year, but has now been bought back by its original creator, Mark Rampolla, and his company PowerPlant Ventures, for an undisclosed sum, reports Food Business News. Rampolla founded Zico Beverages LLC in 2004 and ended up selling the brand to Coca-Cola in 2013, at the height of the coconut water craze. (Related: Grocery Shortages To Expect in 2021, According to Experts.)
But, the demand for coconut water has been on a steady decline over the last decade, and Zico was never able to close the gap between it and the leading competitor in the field, Vita Coco. Still, Rampolla believes his product, and the category at large, still enjoy substantial popularity with health-conscious consumers.
"I respect the decision of Coca-Cola to focus on other elements of their beverage business," he said, according to Food Dive. "I still have a lot of love for Zico, and I know consumers do, too. We are thrilled to acquire the company and thankful for the support from Coca-Cola."
This will mark a new beginning for the Zico brand, which will be returning to grocery stores under the name Zico Rising. Rampolla told The Wall Street Journal he plans to re-establish Zico's partnerships with retailers and ramp up production to ensure there are no hiccups in the supply chain.
"2021 is going to be about making sure we've got the right foundation," he said. The product can currently be found on the shelves in the same old familiar packaging, the company confirmed to Eat This, Not That!
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