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Coconut Water Brand Drops Dairy to Appeal to Vegans

Zola's coconut water no longer contains dairy specifically so that the company can make "plant-powered hydration" claims.

To stay competitive within the plant-based beverage category, coconut water brand Zola recently removed dairy products from its formulations. Zola swapped the dairy previously present in its espresso and chocolate-flavored coconut waters for coconut milk to create a fully vegan product portfolio. The new reformulation will allow the company to make a vegan claim on its packaging—which it is currently redesigning. “We needed to really give ourselves a platform that communicated through the design what it was that we stood for as we were looking for that next step of innovation,” Zola’s chief growth office Pete Brennan told media outlet Foodnavigator-USA. The company launched a new pineapple flavor for the summer that will bear the new vegan label that is congruent with the company’s marketing concept of “plant-powered hydration.” Zola also removed carrageenan from its ingredient list—proven safe for consumption through a peer-reviewed study published last year—to appease customers still wary about the health effects of the algae-based binding agent. Zola isn’t the only company looking to capture the growing consumer interest in vegan food through its labeling. According to research released by Innova Market Insights this week, the appearance of vegan labels on new food and beverage products launched worldwide has tripled between 2012 and 2016.

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