The coconut water empire

Ira Liran returns to his homeland to launch Vita Coco in Israel.

May 5, 2016 12:17
Vita Coco Israel

Business partners Liran (right) and Michael Kirban started an aggressive marketing campaign focusing on ‘points of sweat,’ to find thirsty drinkers. (photo credit: JORDAN HOLLANDER)


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The oft-told story of the genesis of Ira Liran’s Vita Coco coconut water empire is starting to sound a bit like a corny joke.

Two Jewish guys walk into a bar. They spot two hot Brazilian girls and strike up a conversation. The girls ask: “Do you want to see our coconuts?” The two Jewish guys look at each other, giddy as schoolboys, and then shift their gaze elsewhere. The Brazilian girls slap them, and then say: “We mean our coconut water!” Okay, so this fateful 2003 bar encounter didn’t happen like that. The subject of coconuts had come up when Ira Liran and his best friend turned business partner, Michael Kirban, asked two Brazilian women they met in a New York bar what they miss most about their motherland.


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