We spoke with Carlo Pietracupa, Co-Founder of Pure Body Beverages. His first released beverage, COCO, is a refreshing coconut water made from healthy, delicious, young Brazilian coconuts. We found out why COCO tastes better than other coconut waters, how this small business competes against Coke and Pepsi, and why it’s even better than sticking a straw in a coconut.
Why should we pick up COCO off the shelf over other coconut waters?
People need to know that not all coconut water is the same. Coconuts come from different regions, and some companies add sugar and other ingredients that we simply don’t think are necessary for flavour, or our health!
COCO is very unique because the coconuts are harvested, and bottled at 6 months, which is when it is at its nutritional peak. Unlike some of the other brands on the shelf, we do not add mature coconut water, or any unnatural ingredients to our young coconut water.
COCO only has 2 ingredients, coconut water (from young green coconuts), and vitamin C. So even if you didn’t like one brand of coconut water, it doesn’t mean you won’t like COCO. The taste of the Brazilian variety of coconut seems to appeal most to North American consumers.
Can’t I just buy coconuts at the health food store and stick a straw in it?
COCO offers all the nutritional benefits of drinking a freshly picked coconut without the frustration of transporting, storing and opening the coconut. Have you ever watched someone try to open a coconut? Would preserving all 10 fingers be considered a benefit?
How does a small business possibly compete with Coke and Pepsi in this new beverage market?
COCO is a Canadian/Brazilian grass roots brand that’s built a reputation on its appealing taste profile and high quality. A key ingredient the multinational machines are missing is passion and a “real” commitment to the healthy beverage category. Many of our customers are more comfortable, and even proud, knowing that they’re buying their coconut water from two Canadian fathers whose sole focus is bringing Canadians the world’s best quality, and that really fuels us to keep going and work harder than ever. Thanks to our loyal customer base, as well as our retail partners, we have been able to thrive in this very competitive environment.
Due to growing global demand for coconut water, most of the multinational beverage conglomerates source their “Not from Concentrate” coconut water from a multitude of suppliers from around the globe. Like wines, there is a wide variety of coconut waters on the market; however, the young green coconuts from Northern Brazil that we use are considered a rare and much sought after commodity. Our strategy has been to source the best tasting and most nutritious coconut water in the world and our Brazilian facility has earned that reputation. Our dedication to this beverage category translates into consistently amazing COCOnut water. We believe in offering an authentic product at a fair price and we never cut corners.
We also have a lot of PASSION. We believe in our products and we love to tell our story to anyone who is interested in listening. Most food distributors and retail grocery buyers are pretty savvy and expect “top shelf” product from reputable suppliers. We have been very successful in engaging these buyers and conveying COCO’s message of “quality & value” with passion and conviction. Passion is potent … a little bit will leave a lasting impression which goes a long way.
And much of COCO’s success can be attributed to simple yet effective word of mouth referrals. We really appreciate the support of market influencers such as Borden Communications, Marni Wasserman, and Doug McNish, as well as brand ambassadors in professional sports and the Olympics! These influencers are highly regarded in their respective fields and their referral lends a great deal of credibility to the COCO brand.
Who should be drinking coconut water?
The early adopters of coconut water have been athletes, and people who are conscious about their health and what they consume. But now that coconut water has become more mainstream, it has become a healthy alternative to most of the other “manufactured” beverages that are readily available in the market.
Why is this drink so popular amongst athletes?
It has quickly become the new performance “sports drink” of choice. Athletes consume coconut water for rehydration during and after workouts to avoid muscle cramps, nausea, weakness and dizziness. Coconut water offers athletes better results in both performance and post-performance recovery.
COCO is the proud sponsor of some of Canada’s top Olympic and professional athletes including 100m hurdler, Jessica Zelinka, triathlete, Kyle Jones and pro squash player, Shahier Razik.
You’ve claimed that coconut water has more potassium than a banana. What does potassium do for us? And do we really need to be consuming more?
Potassium is a mineral that is important to the healthy functioning of our heart, kidneys and other vital organs, and the average person gets is only getting approximately 50% of the recommended daily potassium requirements!
Other than your coconut water, what are three of your other favourite coconut products?
- Coconut Shred: It had me at hello! I love it on yogurt, and frozen yogurt, and how about them macaroons?! Who can resist that tasty little treat? Oh, and coconut shred and chocolate is always a winning combination.
- Coconut Meat: I spent some time in Italy last summer and my beach snack of choice was coconut meat! Meat from mature coconut has a slightly sweet and nutty taste … I LOVE it! Taste aside, coconut meat is also known to help regulate digestion and elimination as well as assist in weight loss.
- Coconut Sugar: Pure coconut palm sugar is a natural product made from the nectar of the coconut palm tree. Coconut palm sugar is notably higher in various micronutrients because it is less processed than industrial sugars. In my opinion coconut palm sugar tastes better, and it is a healthier substitute to granulated or brown sugar.
What drives you COCO LOCO?
I really try not to take life too seriously and those who know me well would say I have more of a “go-with-the-flow” attitude, and style of living. Life’s twists and turns always offer up an opportunity to learn something new, and a chance to evolve. But if something is driving me a little COCO LOCO, I tend to stop and gather my thoughts, and see what lessons there are for me to learn.
We love what your company name ‘Pure Body Beverages’ implies. What’s next after COCO, the natural drink?
As our company name indicates, we are a healthy beverage company, and we are on a constant quest in search of quality, healthy beverages for Canadians. We have our eye on some really interesting and innovative new products that we think our customers would really appreciate and benefit from, and we’re excited to continue to provide healthy hydration. We’ll be sure to keep you posted!
For more information on Coco, visit cocothenaturaldrink.com. Follow their tweets @COCOTheDrink, and give a like on Facebook too!