>> Vita Coco, the world's leading maker of coconut water, is exploring a sale of the company that could value it at as much as $1 billion. I'm Martinne Geller, Reuters consumer goods specialist correspondent, from London. Sources are telling us that Vita Coco, the world's largest coconut water seller has hired JP Morgan to explore a sale of the company.
So, Vita Coco was founded in 2004 by two childhood friends after they met some women from Brazil who said that the thing that they missed most from Brazil was coconut water. Since then, it has grown, they've worked out a very large supply chain, and the brand is now on sale in about 30 countries, it's the world leading brand, with about 26% market share globally.
So coconut water has been on fire for the last decade. It's worth $2.5 billion worldwide. About 1 billion of that is in North America and other large markets in Latin America and Asia. Europe is still quite small actually. Vita Coco will be attractive for all kinds of players, including PepsiCo, Coke and Dr Pepper.
So, the big drink companies, Coca-Cola, Pepsi Co and Dr Pepper, Snapple, all of them are increasingly trying to diversify their portfolios. After decades of growth, the carbonated soft drink market is really struggling as consumers look increasingly for healthier drinks. In addition, globally lots of countries are considering sugar taxes, soda taxes, certain cities in the United States have put tax on soft drinks.
So the industry is coming under increasing pressure.