FOCO Coconut Water Investigation

FOCO is at some pains to present its coconut water as a good, healthy, natural product. The product page displays some of its promises: “All Natural,” “Never From Concentrate,” “Single Source,” No Preservatives,” “No Sugar Added,” “Cholesterol & Fat Free.”

This seems like just the thing for today’s consumers: A drink associated with health and exercise, coming from sunny, warm places where people eat and drink what grows naturally. It’s got to be good for you—right?

We’re not sure. Are companies that produce coconut water being entirely honest about the ingredients and the health benefits of this drink? We’re investigating their claims.

FOCO offers a variety of coconut water products:

  • Original Coconut Water
  • Organic Coconut Water
  • Coconut Water with Mango
  • Coconut Water with Lychee
  • Coconut Water with Pink Guava
  • Coconut Water with Pineapple
  • Coconut Water with Pomegranate

The FOCO website says, “FOCO Coconut Water is a pure, natural isotonic beverage that replaces vital fluids and electrolytes lost during exercise, sports, vigorous physical work and everyday activities. On the front of most of the FOCO containers, right below the FOCO logo, are the words “100% Pure.” Farther down are the words, “Hydration by Nature.”

FOCO also promises that “FOCO Pure Coconut Water is harvested exclusively from dedicated plantations” in Vietnam and Thailand “that enable us to keep the taste, quality and supply consistent.”

Also, “we control the product from picking, processing and packaging right to delivery in the U.S.” Although coconut water can be sipped directly from the coconut shell, at FOCO, “[e]very batch undergoes a careful Ultra High Temperature (UHT) process to ensure freshness and shelf stability. We also pack our coconut water in a dedicated production facility … and we never overstock (so every batch retains maximum freshness).”

Coconut water has a reputation as a good rehydrating sports drink, since it contains a lot of potassium plus sodium and manganese. It contains no fat and normally contains less sugar and fewer calories than most fruit juices. However, some companies mix coconut water with fruit juices, fruit pulp, or other substances for flavoring. These added ingredients may negate some of the quick-hydration and other claims made for coconut water.

Many of the claims originally made for coconut water have been proved false or have not been verified. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned companies not to make disease-related claims for coconut water, such as that it is antiviral, regulates blood glucose levels, or can cure illnesses. Previous class actions have taken on some other excessive claims, such as that coconut water is “super-hydrating,” “nutrient-packed,” or “mega-electrolyte.”

Are the producers of coconut water telling the whole truth about ingredients, nutritional content, and health benefits of their products, whether straight-up or flavored? We’d like to find out.

Have you bought any of the FOCO coconut waters? If you’d like to hear about the results of this investigation, fill out the form on this page.

Article Type: Investigation
Topic: Consumer
No case events.
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Deceptive Misrepresentation