Worlds Apart

Worlds Apart

A traditional crop of the tropics, most Western consumers came to know the coconut best from holidays abroad, or from a taste for macaroons or Bounty® bars, but from the start of the 21st Century, coconut products have undergone a renaissance, and especially with Western ‘Millennial’ consumers. A surge of popularity in ‘modern’ coconut consumer goods has been led by packaged coconut water, with strong growth in consumption of coconut milk and virgin coconut oil following in its wake. A consensus total for the market in ‘modern’ coconut consumer products implies a global sales value of some $9bn in 2017/18, rising to a projected $19bn in the mid-late 2020s. Worlds Apart explores how surging demand for modern coconut consumer products, contrasts with a structurally constrained upstream producer sector which comprises some of the poorest smallholder farmers on the planet, raising questions about the sustainability of traditional coconut production.

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