Vita Coco maker thirsts for aluminum as it enters competitive bottled water space
AUTHOR Christopher Doering@cdoering
PUBLISHED June 4, 2019
Vita Coco has become well known for its coconut water packaged in a rectangular-shaped cardboard carton. But as consumers increasingly factor sustainability into their buying habits, the beverage maker is turning to the more recycle-friendly aluminum to launch its new premium water.
The idea for its new water brand, Ever & Ever, came after parent All Market partnered with Lonely Whale, an incubator focused on ocean health, to help the company rethink its environmental footprint.
With 75% of aluminum ever produced in the U.S. still in use today, according to the Aluminum Association, it made sense for All Market to embrace the metal, especially for a beverage such as water where the popular plastic bottle is not frequently reused.
“We’re trying to create intrigue with bottles. It definitely doesn’t look like the other water brands in the category, and that is obviously intentional and our mission is to spike a curiosity with someone,” Jane Prior, chief marketing officer at All Market, told Food Dive.
“For consumers who are on the go, live on the go or travel, there is not really a great sustainable option and that was the impetus behind launching the Ever & Ever brand.”
The name, which was chosen to reflect the principle of reusing aluminum over and over again, comes in a blue, white and silver bottle. It’s covered with text talking about recycling and how the bottle could eventually become a hubcap, wind chimes, another bottle or even a pirate hook in a local production of Treasure Island. It’s part of a broader push from All Market to position its portfolio on natural products as not only good for the consumer but the world.
While the packaged water space is “incredibility competitive,” Prior said the company’s sustainability message with Ever & Ever, the staffing it already has in place for its Vita Coco brand and its existing relationships with retailers allow them to more easily move into new product categories.
“This is one of the reasons we feel we can win and compete in the water space,” she said.
Ever & Ever will be sold in New York City starting in June, and online through Amazon before branching into other stores in 2020 after retailers go through their annual reset where they determine which products they carry, Prior said. A 16-ounce bottle will sell for $1.99 each with a 12-pack going for $23.99.
A-F CHEF Notes: I haven’t tried this sparkling water in an aluminum can.
For decades I’ve read that aluminum was bad for the brain based on findings from brain autopsies of elders with progressive brain impairment diseases, which showed elevated levels of aluminum. So what about now? Is aluminum going to make a comeback and replace the plastic bottle, because it’s easier to recycle?
The writer didn’t mention the water. It’s all about the can, evidently. Does aluminum leach into the can? Why are we still using aluminum cans for small size beers and sodas if the aluminum is bad for us? Why did grandma or grandpa have too much aluminum in their brains if they didn’t drink beverages from aluminum cans? Where did it come from?
The consumer of products in aluminum cans deserves answers to these questions.