Convenience retailers have an opportunity to lead the way in driving coconut water sales in the same way they helped the energy drinks market boom.

The UK coconut water category is forecast to grow from £7m in 2013 to £83m this year

According to Steve Barton, CEO of Innovation Drinks, an increased focus on the ingredients of soft drinks, such as chemicals and high amounts of sugar, has helped the natural coconut water category boom.

“Demand is there from the consumer, and if independents get a hold of this category they can really steal market share,” he said.

“There’s a big opportunity for the independent sector. They led the march on the energy drinks market and the grocers followed, and we think they can do this for the coconut water market and do it profitably,” he added.

“Our advice would be to keep the number of SKUs small but begin to showcase a wellbeing, coconut water-led category in-store.”

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The advice came as Innovation Drinks launched Coco5 to the UK market. The all-natural coconut water breaks down taste barriers currently preventing people buying into the category by using natural, mainstream flavours.

The drink is available in six variants and contains just 80 calories per 473ml bottle, RRP £2.29.

The brand is targeting sports enthusiasts with nationwide sampling at rugby clubs, gyms and health and fitness outlets across the UK.