Beverage of the Summer, Vita Coco, leverages UpClear BluePlanner for Rapid Growth

Two Men Walk into a Bar…

….you would think it’s the start of a joke, but Vita Coco’s inception goes back to just that. Two men being introduced to “agua de coco” by women from Brazil. Upon hearing the health benefits, popularity, and taste, it sparked an interest and an identification of a gap in the non-alcoholic beverage market.  If you would like to learn more about the history and growth of Vita Coco, check out the following podcast where Vita Coco Co-Founder Michael Kirban is a guest on “How I Built This” with Guy Raz. 

Coconut water has become its own beverage category with an overall market of $2.3 billion as an industry. Vita Coco is one of the key brands that made coconut water a beverage available in virtually every grocery and drugstore in America. With an expansion into product variations, such as sparkling or pressed coconut beverages, Vita Coco now has a presence in over 30 countries, and there is now a category for coconut beverages to call its own.

A Complex Distribution Network

Vita Coco has grown rapidly and at the start of 2019 invested in deploying new systems to be able to manage the processes behind the expansion. One area of focus was getting better visibility on sales and trade promotion spending in the complex route to market, Direct Store Delivery (DSD).  

With headquarters only two blocks away from each other, Vita Coco chose to work with UpClear because of the attractive and flexible SaaS platform, as well as the cultural fit & perspective for collaboration perspective between the two teams.  

UpClear improved its promotion planning module to incorporate the complex requirements of the DSD “Shared Cost” model, whereas trade spending allocations is co-owned between the Vita Coco and distributor network.  UpClear and Vita Coco also worked on advanced reporting to get visibility on the multi-layer value chain P&L, showing margins at the various levels Manufacturer / Distributor / Retailer. With this in place, Vita Coco was able to plan its Sales and Trade Spend for 2020 with good insight.  

 “We have had to adjust our promotion model to be able to answer the needs of Vita Coco and its DSD Shared Cost model. It took a few iterations but we got it right”.Owen Westcott (Client Success Senior Manager at UpClear)

Two NYC Companies Growing Together

For UpClear it is exciting to work with exponentially growing brands, such as Vita Coco. Every brand we work with, no matter the category or stage of growth comes with its own unique needs…most typically we come across organizations with existing or outdated ERP systems, or managing trade promotions through an army of spreadsheets. In this case there is no precedence and we have the adventure of building from the ground up. As a global operation that focuses on scalability and a startup mentality, UpClear’s agility and the ability to collaborate was key. 

“Working with a fast–growing brand like Vita Coco is both challenging and rewarding. There are few food and beverage companies in New York City that have achieved this level of success, and we’re very proud to be working with such an innovative company.”

Thierry Soudee (Founder at UpClear)

Vita Coco Sales have been very strong in 2020, and UpClear is looking forward to continuing this partnership. 

“The UpClear team has been a pleasure to work with. They were up to the task of adapting to our needs and we now have a great product that is very user friendly. The reporting that was developed has given us visibility to our business that we never had before” – Philip Willner (Director, Revenue Management and Strategy at Vita Coco)