Situated on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India and famous for its beautiful backwaters, the state known as Kerala has been called one of the ’10 paradises in the world’¹. In Sanskrit it translates as ‘land of coconuts’ which is where Jacob Thundil, Founder and chief nut of Cocofina was born and raised and where his journey began.
Unsurprisingly Kerala is surrounded by coconuts and it was as a young boy that he would watch a farmer come to his home and harvest the coconuts from the palms in his garden. The man would ask to retain 10 of these coconuts as payment for his services and that if he wanted help to sell the crop, they could seek his assistance. This enabled a young Jacob to envisage the true worth and potential of the coconut. He quickly discovered them to be a highly sustainable crop as he grew to realise that every part of the coconut could be used in one form or another. The seed had been sown where it would lay dormant whilst he travelled outside of his homeland and continued his studies.
Outside of Kerala and wherever he travelled he just could not find any good quality coconut products. The lightbulb moment arrived in 2004 when he was sat on Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro sipping coconut water straight from the nut. He realised he could bottle the water and sell it and went on from there to become the first in 2005, to start selling coconut water in the UK. After the first batch was sold he produced another 2,000 units and took them to a taste festival in Regents Park. He then let the public sample his coconut water and so began the process of finding the best tasting species of coconut for the UK palate. Cocofina won the coveted Excellence in Food and Drink Award in 2005 and has never looked back since.
Fast forward to 2016 and Cocofina now has a range of 30 products and is sold in 28 countries. Thought of as a premium brand, it has achieved growth year on year and is proud of its proprietary quality control process which has ensured this standard is maintained. Cocofina won seven Great Taste Awards from The Guild of Fine Food in 2015. Innovation is very much at the heart of the brands’ approach to creating new and exciting products to take to market, with its’ 10ml Organic Coconut Oil sachet a case in point. With 11 new products launching this year and in 2017, Cocofina continue to show just why they are the coconut experts. Jacobs’ recent appearance on Dragons Den, was a continuation of the brands’ success, as investment was secured.
Jacob struck a deal with Sarah Willingham and Nick Jenkins. Sarah’s impressive deep knowledge, experience and understanding of the food business and supply chain coupled with Nick’s marketing expertise and incredibly strong and successful track record, make them the perfect duo for Cocofina. Cocofina now has new listings with premium lifestyle retailer Lakeland have been secured. Cocofina products will now be available in all 60 UK stores and its award winning Organic Coconut Oil, Nectar and Butter will feature in the 2016 Lakeland Christmas catalogue.
¹National Geographic Traveler
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