|Headquarters||El Segundo, California, United States|
ZICO (pronunciation: Zee – Koh) Beverages LLC, a subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company, manufactures coconut water. Currently the brand has a variety of flavors including: natural, chocolate, latte, mango, passion fruit, pineapple and tropical.
Mark Rampolla founded Zico in 2004 in New York City after being introduced to coconut water as a Peace Corps volunteer in Central America. As an athlete and advocate of healthy living, Rampolla saw the opportunity to distribute coconut water in the United States as a nutritional beverage while boosting economies of coconut-producing nations. Rampolla first sold his products out of a rented van to yoga studios. From there, it was propelled by the yoga community as a drink for hydration.
In 2009, Coca-Cola purchased a minority stake in ZICO and increased that to a majority stake in 2012 through its Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB) group. In 2013, Coca-Cola purchased the outstanding stake acquiring ZICO in the process.
Coconut water has been marketed as a health drink due to its naturally hydrating properties (it may be very slightly more hydrating than water ), and low amount of fat, carbohydrates and calories. ZICO contains 5 electrolytes: sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. These electrolytes work together to support hydration and help people perform their best. ZICO contains as much potassium as a banana, which has been said to help prevent cramping. ZICO is gluten-free, lactose-free, and dairy-free.
While coconut water has long been popular in the tropics, in recent years it has been embraced for its naturally hydrating properties. As a sterile liquid, coconut water has been used as an intravenous fluid in field medicine. It was allegedly responsible for saving lives during World War II in the South Pacific.
ZICO contains pure coconut water - often in Concentrate form and this has been the source of a litigation. Depending on the flavor, it may also contain other natural ingredients including juice, cocoa, coconut cream, coffee, and others.
 Natural: ZICO Natural is the brand’s most popular beverage, and comes in several sizes: 1 L Tetra Pak, 14 oz Bottle and 11 oz Tetra Pak. ZICO Natural is from concentrates. Natural is a gluten-free, lactose-free and dairy-free beverage.
Chocolate: ZICO Chocolate comes in the following sizes: 1 L Tetra Pak, 14 oz Bottle and 8 oz Tetra Pak. ZICO Chocolate has half the calories and sugar of the leading chocolate milk and is made with real cocoa and a bit of coconut cream in addition to coconut water.
Latte: ZICO Latte is dairy-free, contains caffeine from coffee, and is lactose-free. It also has 50% less sugar and calories per oz. than the leading bottled blended coffee drink.
Flavored Lines | Mango, Pineapple, Passion Fruit: ZICO has a number of fruit flavors. They have the same balance of electrolytes as ZICO Natural, but have additional juice or flavoring.
Tropical: ZICO Tropical is available exclusively in Trader Joe’s and contains Pineapple, Guava and Passion Fruit flavors.
Flavors not from concentrate
- ZICO has several flavors not from concentrate including Natural (11 oz and 1L containers), Mango (11 oz container) and Passion Fruit (11 oz container).
Flavors from concentrate
- ZICO also has several flavors from concentrate and is found frequently in ZICO’s bottled 14 oz flavors. The natural bottle has fewer calories per oz than the Tetra Pak. Also, it has higher sodium content, as sodium plays a critical role in promoting optimal rehydration during prolonged exercise by preventing muscle cramps, weakness, and aiding in fluid retention. Flavors from concentrate include Natural (14 oz and 1.5L containers), Chocolate (8 oz, 14 oz, 1 L containers), Mango (14 oz container), Pineapple (14 oz container), Latte (14 oz container) and Tropical (1 L container).
- “From concentrate” simply means that the coconut water has had most of the water removed during the production process so that it could be more easily transported and stored, and then has had water added back into it later in the production process to bring it back to the same nutritional profile as the original coconut water. Removing water and then adding it back in does nothing to reduce the benefits of the coconut water.
ZICO supports a group of elite and amateur athletes titled Team ZICO. ZICO typically accepts applications to join the amateur roster at the end of each calendar year on Facebook.com/ZICO. Elite Team ZICO athletes include:
Kevin Garnett: Nicknamed “K.G.”, Kevin Garnett is power forward for the Brooklyn Nets. He’s made the NBA All-Star game 15 times, was named NBA MVP in 2004 and won a gold medal during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games for men’s basketball, representing the U.S.
Julia Mancuso: Julia Mancuso is a World Cup alpine ski racer with the U.S. Ski Team. She was the gold medalist in the giant slalom at the 2006 Winter Olympics and silver medalist in both downhill and combined at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Her three Olympic medals are the most ever for a female Alpine skier.
Bethany Hamilton: Bethany Hamilton is an American professional surfer. Hamilton is known for surviving a shark attack in 2003, where she lost her arm and was the subject of the 2011 film “Soul Surfer.” Despite the trauma of the incident, Hamilton returned to surfer less than one month after.
Dean Karnazes: Dean Karnazes has been described as “the world’s most famous ultramarathon runner.” While Karnazes has many running achievements, most notable may be his 50 marathons in 50 states on 50 consecutive days, which he ran in 2006 starting with the Lewis and Clark Marathon in St. Louis and ending with the New York City Marathon.
Kathryn Budig: Kathryn Budig practices yoga in Florida. Budig regularly contributes to publications such as “Yoga Journal” and “Women’s Health Magazine” as a yoga expert.
Bryan Clay: Bryan Clay is an American decathlete. He was the gold medalist in the decathlon at the 2008 Summer Olympics and silver medalist at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Jordan Rapp: Jordan Rapp is a professional triathlete, winning 8 long distance, multi-sport events include 5 Ironman Triathlons. In 2010, Rapp was victim of a hit and run car accident while riding his bike. Despite severe injuries, Rapp returned to win Ironman Canada in August 2011.
- Fredrix, Emily (9/1/09). "Coca-Cola Invests In ZICO Coconut Water Company". The Street. Retrieved 8/5/13. Check date values in:
- "Coca-Cola North Acquires Coconut Water Maker Zico Beverages". Vending Times. November 29, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
- Conis, Elena. "Coconut water: A health drink that's all it's cracked up to be?". Article. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
- "Pure Coconut Water". ZICO. 2013-03-22. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
- Kuberski T, Roberts A, Linehan B, Bryden RN, Teburae M. N Z Med J. (Aug 8, 1979). "Coconut water as a rehydration fluid". p. 90(641):98–100. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
- http://www.bevnet.com/news/2012/california-based-class-actions-hit-zico-xing. Missing or empty
- "Pure Coconut Water". ZICO. 2013-03-22. Retrieved 2013-09-01.