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"Coco López" was invented by Ramón López Irizarry, who was an agricultural professor for the University of Puerto Rico. With funds from the government, he worked on his idea inside a small laboratory that he owned. He discovered that by mixing sugarcane sugar with coconut cream, he could prepare the beverage.
Irizarry left the university and commercialized his product, which eventually found its way into the island's supermarkets.
Coco López was the base for the invention of the tropical drink, piña colada. Initially, most piña coladas (pineapple mixed with coconuts) used Coco López to bring out the coconut flavor. Nowadays, various other coconut drinks are also used when making piña coladas.
Coco López is sold in fifty countries on several continents. It was marketed for years in the United States via a television commercial showing a man wearing a tuxedo mixing piña coladas with the product, and the final shot of the commercial showing that he has a giant can of Coco López for a head.
The Coco López brand expanded to include mixed flavors including "Coco López Bloody Mary", "Coco López lemonade", "Coco López mango", "Coco López Margarita", "Coco López Purple Passion", "Coco López rum runners", and "Coco López strawberry".
Although Coco López’s packaging describes it as a “cream of coconut”, it cannot be used as a substitute for coconut cream in Thai or other Southeast Asian cuisines, as Coco López is sweetened for inclusion in piña coladas.
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