November 13th 2018
Looking to add a tropical taste to your food product, or capitalize on the better-for-you eating trend? Coconut is accessible, delicious, and carries the promise of functional benefits.
If there’s one thing we all learned from television as kids, it’s that you can live comfortably and indefinitely on a deserted island as long as there are coconuts. You can eat them, drink from them, and use the shells and husks to make all kinds of ingenious contraptions.
In reality, coconuts are incredibly versatile even if you’re not washed up on a beach somewhere. The husks can be used for everything from rope to hydroponics medium, and the shells can be repurposed for activated carbon in filters. But, of course, we’re more interested in the edible applications of coconuts.
The truth about drupes
Into botany? Then you’ll want to know that a coconut is a fibrous one-seeded drupe. Drupes are fruits that have a hard casing over their seed. Other famous drupes include peaches, cherries, and even pecans.
If history is more your thing, you might be intrigued to hear that no one is quite sure where coconuts originated. Some say they migrated from Polynesia or the Indian islands to Africa and the Americas. Others argue they actually started in the Americas and made their way west. Coconuts float, and they were carried by early explorers, making them some of the most well-travelled plants on Earth.
Wherever they are found, however, they offer an incredible bounty to those who harvest them.
Why coconuts are a true superfood
Remarkably, not only can you eat the raw meat, but you can also extract milk from the meat, and drink the clear liquid, commonly called “coconut water”, that collects in the hollow centre. Coconut water is highly prized, it being a good source of potassium, protein, fibre, and magnesium. It’s excellent for replacing electrolytes, making it popular for the active consumer. How popular? The volume of global sales is expected to rise to 332.8 million gallons by 2021, nearly a 148% increase from 2016 levels.
Coconut meat is also a good source of protein, making it an enticing additive for anyone formulating a plant-based meat alternative. Coconut flour is excellent for gluten-free baking, and then there’s coconut oil, a tasty alternative to vegetable and olive oils for cooking.
Flavour to go nuts about
Adding coconut flavour to just about anything not only elevates its apparent health cachet but also gives it an exotic appeal.
Of course, coconut is well known for the wonderful texture and flavour it brings to baked goods and confectionary. Coconut-filled chocolate doughnut sprinkled with Himalayan salt? Don’t mind if we do! And who could say no to a Coconut Spice Snack Cake with nutmeg, cardamom, and cinnamon over the holidays?
Moving on to the beverage market, the full potential of the coconut is just beginning to be tapped. Combine trends and offer an RTD or powdered Coconut Turmeric & Lavender Moon Milk for total relaxation and revitalization at the end of the day. Or, chase the active lifestyle demographic with a sparkling Ginger Lemongrass Coconut refresher.
From snack bars and frozen desserts to tropical cold brew and luau-inspired marinades, there’s a place for coconut in all manner of applications. Few ingredients lend themselves as well to both sweet treats and health-forward supplements, solid foods and beverages, and sweet and savoury products.
Want in on the drupe revolution? We know how to make it work for your product, and we’ll be there from inception, through formulation, and into production. Contact us today to get the coconut rolling on your custom flavour solution.