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Coke acquires remaining stake in Zico

The announcement will unlock more capability for ZICO including marketing, selling, manufacturing, innovation and distribution opportunities. Additionally, Coca-Cola says it will gain a leading position in one of the fastest-growing beverage categories in the world.

The move completes the transaction which began in 2009 when Coca-Cola’s Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB) business unit first invested in Zico. In 2012, the company purchased a majority stake in the brand. And earlier this year, the brand took its place on the signature red Coca-Cola trucks to be distributed throughout the US and Canada.

“When we made our investment in Zico, we did so because we saw it as a burgeoning premium brand with the potential to be a significant leader in a high growth category,” said Deryck van Rensburg, president and general manager, Venturing & Emerging Brands, Coca-Cola North America.

“Over the past four years we have watched the coconut water category see an impressive spike in revenue and household penetration and Zico solidify its position as one of the leading brands in this category. With our acquisition, we plan to innovate in all aspects of the consumer experience and increase both velocity and distribution to position Zico for even more growth.

“This announcement is the sign of a continued beginning for the brand, with more resources, support and cachet to come.”

The coconut water category has seen significant sales growth since its inception, nearly doubling its revenue every year since 2004. In the period since Coca-Cola’s initial investment in Zico, the brand has expanded its distribution footprint from six markets to national US presence, adding such influencer retail partners as Kroger, Target and Walmart.

While coconut water growth remains extremely strong in 2013, year-to-date Zico’s volume growth continues to outperform the category.

“We always believed coconut water would eventually become a major beverage category and Zico a household name, even when we were running the company from my garage and selling out of a rented truck,” says Mark Rampolla, Zico’s founder and CEO.

“Over the past four years, it has been exciting to see Zico excel as our partnership with The Coca-Cola Company matured. Now, with full access to the resources of the Coca-Cola system, we have the opportunity to bring Zico and the healthy, replenishing benefits of coconut water even further into the mainstream and realise our original goals.”

Source: Coca-Cola Co