Coconut water is the beverage of the season. Since celebrities like Rihanna and Madonna have admitted to routinely indulging, sales have soared 168 per cent and Europe alone is responsible for the launch of 34 per cent of new coconut water products. But what’s up with coconut water’s sudden burst in popularity?
According to a global drinks analyst at Mintel, coconut water contains naturally high levels of electrolytes and includes minerals potassium, calcium and magnesium.
While the drink is allegedly refreshing and healthy, we here at the Healthista office were curious about the taste factor of coconut water.
Healthista editor Anna Magee, usually a store bought coconut water fan recently went to the Caribbean and found that the real thing as bought on the side of the road in Barbados, has quite a different taste to the manufactured hybrids on shop shelves.
So we decided to test a whole heap of shop bought coconut water to see if there is a brand out there that gets close to the real thing in taste terms.
We grabbed five different plain coconut water brands and conducted a blind taste testing. The contenders were: Chi, Cocofina, Vita Coco, Go Coco and Unoco.
Here are the stats for each brand. We have listed the country of origin (which may or may not have an effect on sweetness and general taste), sugars, calories, stand out comments from the taste test, and number of people who chose it as their favorite.
From Thailand What’s in it 100% coconut water Calories 21 kcal per box Sugars 1.2g per 100ml naturally occurring Tester said ‘Quite nice, not too sweet.’
From Thailand What’s in it 100% Coconut Water Calories 21 kcal per 100ml (105 cals per bottle) Sugars 4.7g per 100ml, natural Tester said ‘Tastes quite like real coconut water.’
From Sri Lanka What’s in it Natural coco water, less than one per cent fruit sugar, vitamin C Calories 18 cal per 100 ml (60 calories per 330ml box) Sugars 5 g Tester said ‘Refreshing, it’s drinkable – sort of satisfying when you’re really thirsty’
From Bottled in Thailand What’s in it Natural coconut water, natural flavourings and citric acid Calories 52 per 100ml Sugars 4.4g of sugar per 100mL, 11g per 250mL Tester said ‘It tastes like banana’
From Philippines Ingredient 100 per cent young green coconut water Calories Not listed Sugar 4.9g/100mL Tester said ‘Tastes like water with slight flavouring’