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A staple ingredient in Asian, African and Caribbean cultures for centuries, coconuts have gone through the process of rediscovery in the West in recent times, skyrocketing back into the public eye with great success. At Coconut Merchant we honour the merchants of old by sharing our quality coconut products to the eager global market. Here are five reasons why coconuts continue to be the plant to beat in 2016.
Frequency of ‘coconut’ search term 2010-present. Source: Google Trends, 2016
- Coconuts: the new… everything?
The impressive versatility of the coconut has certainly forged an impact on the popularity and market size. Growing from just a tropical water and an alternative to standard cooking oils, the versatility of coconuts is now coming into full display with different parts of the palm being used for varying results. This has lead us at Coconut Merchant to produce innovative products like our award-winning coconut jam, syrup, sugar, savoury sauce (a soy sauce alternative), flour, butter, vinegar and Beauty Balm – amongst many others!
One in three people now buy or eat free-from foods, with three quarters of those doing so even though they don’t have a food intolerance (Mintel, 2016). Food consumption and perceptions are changing; gluten and dairy alternatives are now a viable and healthy option. Coconuts are a great substitute to products usually containing gluten and other substances which people try to avoid. We understand that knowing our consumers’ needs, views, aspirations and interests is key to delivering a relevant product offering. That’s why we tailor our new products towards these trends, like our Coconut Nectar, a vegan honey alternative, perfect for the many people out there following a vegan lifestyle.
Value of the free-from market. Source: Mintel, Free-from foods, 2016
Studies suggest that specific parts of the coconut have antibacterial, antiviral, disinfectant, and positive electrolyte properties which can be beneficial to health (Mandal et al, Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, 2011). This serves as a market driver and helps showcase the positive, adaptable properties of coconuts and our products at Coconut Merchant.
- Authentic is Best
Food sourcing preferences of consumers have seen a shift in recent years. Previously, food characterised as local received the most added emotional value to consumers. However, this trend has shifted to authenticity proving more important. Searching for food that is true to its origin and has a culturally significant background gives consumers more satisfaction. Consequently, at Coconut Merchant we are proud of the the origin of our products and the authenticity of the ingredients, production methods and farmers that help us bring our products to market.
- Ethical Produce
Linked to the above, of importance to customers is the providence of products – with the ethical methods used to bring products to market having key importance. At Coconut Merchant, ethical sourcing is a central part of our business ethos and company culture. This has great value for customers who share our values, beliefs and mission – as well as providing a key point of difference from our competition.
Ethical Spending in the UK. Source: The Independent, 2015
- Google Trends: Coconut Search Term. Google. Available from: https://www.google.co.uk/trends/explore?date=2009-07-19%202016-08-19&q=coconut [Accessed 19 August 2016].
- Ford, R, 2015. Yellow Fats and Edible Oils – UK. Mintel, [Accessed 19 August 2016].
- Hudson, E, 2009. How to build coconuts’ health and wellness credentials. Passport Insights, [Accessed 19 August 2016].
- Rodionova, Z, 2015. Ethical spending surges to £38bn in UK as consumers look to green alternatives. The Independent, Available from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/ethical-spending-surges-to-38bn-in-uk-as-consumers-look-to-green-alternatives-a6790956.html [Accessed 23 August 2016]
- Soininen, K, 2016. Free-from Foods – UK. Mintel, [Accessed 19 August 2016].
Written by Nicole Goyder