Every brand has a nutty story, this is ours…
One evening in a Manhattan bar in February 2003, childhood friends, Ira Liran and Michael Kirban, were speaking with two young women they had just met from Brazil. When asked what they missed most about their country, one of the girls, without hesitation, answered “agua de coco.” Coconut water, she explained, is the most nutritious and delicious drink in the world.
Two months later in Brazil, visiting one of the Brazilian women who would eventually become his wife, Liran started researching the prospect of branding coconut water for the American market. He realized her enthusiasm for the beverage was not exaggerated – Brazilians just cannot get enough coconut water. After spending several months working with coconut plantations and producers, making connections, and learning the politics of production in Brazil, Vita Coco was born.
Meanwhile, Kirban started the initial market research in New York. Meeting with distributors and beverage insiders, he quickly realized the tremendous consumer interest in “functional beverages.” He spoke with several distributors who then introduced Kirban to some of their key accounts. The response was fantastic.
In summer 2004, the two successfully brought Vita Coco to market in a handful of stores along the East Coast. Since that fateful night on the Lower East Side in 2003, Vita Coco has not only carved a new market in the non-carbonated beverage business and redefined the alternative sports beverage category, it has also become one of the fastest growing lifestyle beverages in North America.
Vita Coco’s popularity only continues to increase. Now available in over 60,000 retail stores nationally, Vita Coco is one of the hottest beverage brands in the world, with a cult-like brand loyalty.