The health halo associated with coconut ingredients could mean coconut vinegar is the next ‘it’ product in Europe -- though its nutritional benefits are to yet be verified.
Bottles of coconut vinegar could be put on kitchen tables across Europe because of the nutritional benefits associated with other coconut ingredients such as coconut water, oil and sugar, said a report by Mintel.
Additionally, a growth in different flavours for food ingredients is currently outpacing the overall growth in such products, indicating a need for more diverse ingredient selection. And since coconut vinegar is less acidic than apple cider vinegar, it might further boost its growth potential.
“Even though there is limited evidence to support the nutritional and health claims about coconut vinegar, the products still have an opportunity to satisfy consumers’ interests in new flavours,” said author and global food science analyst at Mintel Stephanie Pauk.
“The mild flavour profile of coconut vinegar will appeal to consumers who find other vinegars too astringent.”
Coconut water brand Cocofina has also recently said that coconut flavours are staying ahead of the innovation curve with products such as coconut water, oil and sugar being one of the fastest growing ingredient categories globally in the food industry, and products with coconut ingredients accounting for over 25% of new product launches in Europe recently.
Coconut vinegar and products
Use of coconut vinegar had been relatively limited to the Asia Pacific region, but the popularity of coconut products could bring the ingredient to the West. From 2010 to October 2014, 72% of products using coconut vinegar were launched in Asia Pacific, 17% were in Europe and 11% were in North America, said the report.
Manufacturers in Europe that are already using coconut vinegar claim they are more nutritious than apple cider. The Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Vinegar The Netherlands for example, uses raw coconut vinegar made from the sap of the coconut tree. And according to the manufacturer, the product is more nutritious than apple cider vinegar as it has a low glycaemic index and is abundant in amino acids, B vitamins, and prebiotics.
The Tropicai vinaigrette in Germany similarly, is a fruity vinaigrette made from fermented coconut sap. “Even though there is limited evidence to support the nutritional and health claims about coconut vinegar… an increase in authentic ethnic flavours will increase curiosity about coconut vinegar in the West,” added Pauk.