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Zico Latte launches as the first caffeine-spiked coconut water

Zico LatteThe newest coconut water concoction to hit shelves is moving the natural hydration drink into new competition with companies like Red Bull and Starbucks.

Zico Latte launches in June, with as much caffeine as a shot of espresso (85 grams). The first coconut-water-meets-coffee drink of its kind will be sold (for about $2.49) at Whole Foods and probably every NYC deli—and maybe even your boutique fitness studio or gym.

Bill Lange, Zico’s VP of Marketing, says the company has seen an uptick in endurance athlete customers, who often turn to caffeine to help fuel their workouts. “We thought that the electrolytes for hydration and the caffeine for performance would be a great combination,” he says.

No doubt, Zico Latte will also allow the brand to reach a more mainstream customer, as the Zico Chocolate flavor has. But will they lose that yoga audience?

Nutritionally, Zico Latte packs a sugar punch (17 grams), but it’s only slightly more sugar than a regular coconut water contains. And it’s dairy-free.

While it’s no green juice, it sure beats a bottled Frappuccino (which has more than double the sugar and lots of artificial flavors). And that’s exactly the drink Zico sees it as a replacement for. —Lisa Elaine Held 

Would you fuel your workout with a caffeine-spiked coconut water? Or is the drink a coconut-water buzzkill?

Correction (05/11/2012): Zico was not the first company to come up with a coconut water-espresso blend. Since this story was published, we were introduced to at least one other large company, Coco Cafe, that was already selling a similar combo (although it currently has limited distribution in New York). We must have skipped our morning green juice the day we did the research.