Michael Kirban, a young beverage entrepreneur with affable eyes and the round head of a coconut, sat in the cool shade of a conference room on a recent Tuesday, clutching a box of juice. The box was Carnaval-colored, splattered with a private beach’s worth of sand, surf, and palm trees, which may have explained the goofily tropical theme that pervaded the room—from the frond-green carpeting to the small sandbox planted with two potted palms. All that was missing was the babe in the thong bikini.
The juice box itself had a healthy dose of writing on it—bold, motivational sayings that implored the drinker to REHYDRATE, REJUVENATE, REVITALIZE or, simply, “Fuel up. Naturally.” It was vaguely octagonal in shape, and within its angled walls sloshed 11.2 ounces of a substance that Mr. Kirban referred to alternately, reverently, as a “carbonation vacation,” a “vacation in a bottle,” a “natural isotonic” and a “hangover cure.” Sometimes he simply called it by its given name, Vita Coco.
Mr. Kirban has been marketing, and selling, Vita Coco for nearly three years now, offering it to the thirsty masses as one of the latest self-help power liquids. He co-founded and runs the business with his friend, Ira Liran, 29, who covers the production and export side of things in Brazil. By their own admission, it is nothing more (or less) than coconut
“We’re trying to rehydrate the world one coconut at a time,” declared Mr. Liran, 29, speaking to the Observer from his adopted city, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Now, with a shiny new sales contract with Target, the duo is also hoping to hydrate their business prospects—perhaps even get lucky someday like Glacéau, the Queens-based maker of Vitamin
As the text on the side panel of the Vita Coco box blares, “This 100% pure life enhancing beverage has also been proven to increase vitality, ease digestion, cure hangovers and literally save people’s lives.”
Call it better living through Vita Coco.