PepsiCo is to make its debut in the UK coconut water category - as market leader Vita Coco moves into coconut oil.

The soft drinks giant’s first UK coconut water will roll out from 17 August under the Naked brand, which is currently worth £17m [Nielsen 52 w/e 2 August 2014]. PepsiCo hopes the drink, sold in a white screwcap 500ml Tetra Pak carton (rsp: £2.39), will bring incremental growth to coconut water.

“Coconut water is experiencing rapid growth but is still relatively small, so there is plenty of headroom for further growth,” said Adrian Baty, marketing director for Naked. “Research indicates Naked has a strong brand fit with coconut water.”

Meanwhile, leading coconut water brand Vita Coco is extending into coconut oil from next month. The raw cold-pressed oil will launch initially into health and natural food retailers (rsp: from £5.99/250ml to £14.50/750ml) ahead of a national launch and marketing campaign in 2015.

Interest in culinary use of coconut oil was growing, said Vita Coco Europe CEO Giles Brook.While the UK coconut oil market was a fraction of the size of the US’s $70m, sales had almost doubled in the past year to £3.8m [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 25 May 14].

“There’s nothing to suggest coconut oil can’t have the same effect on cooking oils as coconut water has had on the soft drink category,” Brook said, adding the new SKU could contribute sales of about £1m next year.

Protein brand Dr Zak’s is also launching a coconut oil next month, with MD Ray Brilus stating: “Adoption of the product is increasing substantially and it is drifting to the mainstream.” l World foods supplier Tropical Sun is supporting its 100% natural coconut water brand with a London-wide bus advertising campaign that kicked off this week.