Yes, we’re going a little New York Times heavy these past few days. But here’s another story that seems right up the yoga/Ashtanga alley — the selling of coconut water:
The battle for this market, worth $400 million a year and growing, now involves big players like Pepsi and Coke. But in the beginning, it looked more like a street fight between two guys. One was then a 29-year-old college dropout who rolled to Manhattan bodegas at night, on in-line skates, carrying samples in a backpack. The other was a former Peace Corps volunteer, driving a beat-up Econoline Ford van and fighting for the same turf.
Michael Kirban, who with a buddy founded Vita Coco, and Mark Rampolla, who founded its archrival Zico, happened to start selling nearly identical brands, in the same neighborhoods of New York City, at almost the same time — a week or two apart, in late 2004.
Those in the fray called it the coconut water wars. Each side quickly bulked up with sales teams and tried to win over Manhattan, one grocery store and yoga studio at a time.
It’s a far cry from the stalls all over India selling hacked-open-in-front-of-you coconuts.
Posted by Steve