Global coconut water consumption has risen by 60% over the last ten years, driven mostly by strong performance in Asian and Latin American markets, according to market analyst Canadean.

Consumption of the drink has only recently taken off in Western Europe and North America, with volumes leaping in the US from half a million litres to nearly 200m litres last year. Most of the branded volume of coconut water ends up in the US, with the water being sourced from coconuts in countries such as Brazil or Thailand, where consumption of coconut water is long-established.

Much of the volume sold in countries such as India, Canadean added, is sold unpackaged by street vendors and drunk straight from the coconut.

The drink’s relatively high levels of potassium and electrolytes – coupled with low levels of fat, calories and sodium – are helping to boost its popularity among consumers.

Canadean analyst Emma Wright predicted that “the trend is only set to continue as more and more of the world is turning towards healthy, low-calorie soft drinks alternatives.”

The research company continued: “Many new companies have joined the market, with existing older companies entering new markets or creating new pack sizes. Not one to be left behind, Innocent, owned by Coca-Cola [and] known for its juices and smoothies and for promoting a healthy lifestyle, has this year launched its own brand of coconut water in order to diversify its product range and offer something new to consumers. Ferolito, Vultaggio & Sons, one of the leading companies in iced/RTD tea drinks, has also released its own brand, CocoZona.”

Other tree waters such as birch and maple have proven increasingly popular in recent months – and, in January, FoodBev reported on new research from Datamonitor Consumer that suggested UK consumption levels of coconut water could reach 25m litres by the end of this year.