“Our concern with Vita Coco was that it seemed extremely ethnic”

the most ethnic thing i've ever seen in my life

This New York Times piece on a bizarro incident of simultaneity that led to the Coconut Water Shelf Space Wars was very interesting, particularly when they managed to describe the taste of coconut water (“faintly sweet and a tad salty. Some have compared it to socks, sweat and soap”) without name-checking semen. In 2005, the fight between nearly-identical Vita Coco and Zico seemed to be over when Vitaminwater veteran distributor Big Geyser bought Zico:

Mr. Hershkowitz, the Big Geyser president, was able to choose. He went with Zico.

“Our concern with Vita Coco was that it seemed extremely ethnic,” he said in a recent phone interview. “Zico seemed much more upscale, much more premium, sexier name.”

LOL, well. Noting the “ethnic, premium, sexy” women hired by both companies as spokespeople (Rihanna for Vita Coco, Jessica Alba for Zico), Vita Coco’s got upwards of 60% market share: their secret is they went door-to-door, like little ethnic peasants. [NYTimes]