Vita Coco (COCO) stock priced, trades on Nasdaq in IPO

Coconut water maker Vita Coco made its market debut on the Nasdaq Thursday.

The New York-based firm started buying and selling below the ticker COCO at simply over $15 a share, after being priced a number of {dollars} beneath its goal vary of $18-$21. The pricing valued the corporate at about $833 million.

Shares briefly spiked to over $16, and are hovering round $15 as of noon Thursday.

Because the story goes, Vita Coco was born in 2004, after its two founders realized from a few Brazilians that what they missed most about their dwelling nation was the scrumptious “agua de coco.” As such, Vita Coco beat the frenzy of coconut water hype that arrived in the late aughts, kicking off what the corporate refers to because the “coconut water wars.” The variety of tropical beverage makers shortly multiplied, with opponents like Zico and Innocent Harvest cropping up left and proper. As one of many top-selling manufacturers, Vita Coco earned high-profile superstar traders together with Madonna, Matthew McConaughey, and Demi Moore, all seeking to faucet into the coolness of the drink.

However sadly for Vita Coco, after coconut water gross sales peaked to a file excessive in 2016, the craze has steadily waned. Different “wholesome” and “pure” drinks started to flood the market, and glowing water manufacturers like La Croix appeared to supplant coconut water in the cultural zeitgeist. U.S. coconut water gross sales fell 16% by 2020, with the decline accelerating every year, based on data from research firm Euromonitor as cited by Bloomberg. In October 2020, Vita Coco’s competitor Zico was discontinued by its proprietor Coca Cola, which finally bought the “underperforming” model again to its founder a couple of months later.

Though it’s not like coconut water is useless: In reality, it loved a revival in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic as shoppers stocked up on bottled, better-for-you drinks. And Vita Coco’s CEO, Mike Kirban, is optimistic, telling Bloomberg late final 12 months that the culling of opponents is definitely excellent news. “It offers us extra shelf presence to introduce extra innovation and extra individuals into the class,” Kirban mentioned, “so we’re in a really attention-grabbing place.”