"Our objective in this business is pretty simple. We believe coconut water is a healthier, better product that needs to get out to the world. We want to see that scale globally," said Mr. Rampolla. "[The investment] means we get the resources we need to keep growing."
At this point, Coca-Cola has offered market and consumer insights, as well as research that is proving helpful, Mr. Rampolla said. There are no immediate plans to distribute through Coca-Cola's network, but Zico is getting advice on various channels and partners as it enters new markets, Mr. Rampolla said. Zico, which is made from green coconuts and positioned as a natural sports drink, can be found at Whole Foods, as well as gyms, yoga studios, college campuses and natural-food retailers in markets including New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago. In the coming year there are plans to expand into new markets, including San Francisco, Colorado and Texas.
|Mark Rampolla, founder, Zico Beverages|
"It's a very guerilla marketing approach," Mr. Rampolla said. "We will start to take that up a notch, in select markets. But we still don't have traditional advertising today. That will come a few years down the road."