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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Coconut Water Demand is Outpacing Supply

Posted By on Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Those of us who drink coconut water on the regular (mostly for its magical hangover-curing properties) will be disappointed to learn that the current craze for the stuff is costing more than just $3-$4 a can. According to the United Nation's Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), demand for coconut products is outpacing supply in Asia, where nearly 90% of the coconuts, and their related products (water, oil, etc.), come from. Coconut product consumption is growing more than 10 percent a year, but production in Asia is only increased by about 2 percent, which could lead to a shortage that could threaten economies and livelihoods.

The problem is that the trees, most planted in the years after World War II, are long past their prime, and not producing as many coconuts as they could. The solution could be to implement a replanting program, which could yield fruit within two or three years. "[W]ith replanting and improved agricultural practices, a 50 - 100 percent increase in production is achievable within a few years," Romulo Arancon, Executive Director of the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community, told FAO.

A potential coconut shortage is more than just a problem for those of us wanting to replenish our electrolytes. In the Philippines, one in five people rely on coconut crops to survive, and the FAO estimates that the coconut industry could be as much as 5 percent of the Philippine GDP, and contributes $1.5 billion to India's, according to a Bloomberg report.

Might want to start looking into morning-after alternatives to that Coco Cafe.

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About The Author

Anna Roth

Anna Roth

Anna Roth is SF Weekly's former Food & Drink Editor and author of West Coast Road Eats: The Best Road Food From San Diego to the Canadian Border.


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