Innocent looks to take coconut water mainstream with new product push

Innocent is launching a national campaign in support of its newly launched range of 100% coconut water as it looks to catch up with the US and make the health trend mainstream in the UK.

The campaign will be promoted through outdoor, PR and sampling activity as well as a “heavyweight” digital campaign that includes banner ads, YouTube pre-roll and social media activation.

Created in-house, the marketing push is an effort to promote the “natural hydration” that the new product offers “after the gym or when you’re feeling a bit hungover”, according to the brand. Coconut water is low in calories, fat free and a source of natural electrolytes.

It is also a move to “drive category trial” according to Helen Pomphrey, Innocent’s UK marketing director, who said that sampling is crucial for the brand, which tastes “slightly different to the other ones on the market”.

“We wanted to drive awareness of Innocent and to bring coconut water to the forefront of people’s minds,” she told Marketing Week. “It’s a category job, but also a brand job.”

Since launching in April, the brand’s coconut water range has gained 22% share of the category, with 69% of its sales being incremental to coconut water in the UK according to Pomphrey.

She added that the category has “huge potential”, something the brand is hoping to tap into by driving penetration.

“Penetration of coconut water in the UK is relatively low, around 4%,” she said. “In the US it’s been established for a few more years and it’s close to 10%.

“There’s headroom to bring people into the category. It tends to have quite a city focus, but there’s an opportunity for it to go mainstream.”

Innocent vs. Vita Coco

The move follows Vita Coco’s decision to double its media spend with the launch of its first ever global campaign last month after becoming the fastest growing non-alcoholic beverage in the UK last year.

The campaign is an effort to reach “health conscious” consumers and tap into the growth of healthy drinks, according to the brand.

Pip Brook, Vita Coco’s EMEA marketing director, told Marketing Week: “There has been a massive switch globally of people starting to consider not only what they eat, but what they drink as well,” she said, adding that the brand’s target market is the “healthy active influencer, aged 25 to 39”.

“If you look at the growth that happened in the US, the UK is starting to see some of that growth,” she added.

Tapping into the vegetable juice trend

While Innocent’s coconut water will be the “biggest piece of innovation this year in terms of campaign support”, the brand is also launching a range of smoothies for kids later this week containing both fruits and vegetables with a TV campaign to support the launch during the back to school period.

“One of the trends we’re definitely seeing is the move towards vegetable inclusions in juices and smoothies,” Pomphrey said. “It’s been quite a challenge, as we need to appeal to children’s taste palettes but also to mums from a nutrition point of view.”

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