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Person sitting on food crate throwing and catching coconut

David Freeman, CEO of H2coco

World’s thirst for coconut water is growing

Australian entrepreneur David Freeman found his business idea in New York after a sweaty yoga session, so it seems fitting that his dream now is to share H2coco coconut water with the world.

In 2009, David had never tasted coconut water until his Yogi in the Big Apple offered him a glass of the refreshing, natural drink. Hooked on the taste, David started researching the health benefits of coconut water and began sourcing the best tasting coconuts from around the globe.

Today, H2coco Pty Ltd boasts seven products, including two organic virgin coconut oils, and has plans to launch four new products in 2016. The mission is to deliver consumers a premium range of innovative ‘better-for-you’ coconut-based foods and beverages. This will see H2coco extend its products outside of coconut water and oil to include an organic grocery range and kids’ range.

The ‘better-for-you’ option in all food and beverage products is the fastest growing category.

David Freeman, CEO, H2coco

“Back in 2009 I saw a gap in this market within Australia and New Zealand and decided to act on my coconut water idea. At first it could have been a fad but it quickly out grew that and is now an entirely new beverage category that continues to grow,” David added.

H2coco’s vision is a healthier fridge and pantry in every household and the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme (the Programme) is helping the business be competitive in international markets.

H2coco’s products are sold in 13 countries – Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong, Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Norway, South Korea, Singapore and Lebanon. Recently, a greater push into South Africa has opened up promising market opportunities in major supermarket chains and convenience stores. H2coco has also identified markets in the Middle East, United Kingdom, Africa and Europe as serious growth opportunities.

Under the Programme, a Business Evaluation by H2coco’s Business Adviser Patrick Muraguri proved highly beneficial. The Business Evaluation led David and his General Manager Nick Boots to attend an Entrepreneur Learning workshop – Are You Ready for Export, sponsored by the Programme.

As part of the Programme’s Customer Connections service, Patrick helped H2coco to identify consultants with capital raising expertise, and other assistance, including:

  • R&D Tax Incentive; to help offset R&D costs.
  • R&D Tax Incentive; to help offset R&D costs.
  • Austrade’s TradeStart program, to help find long-term success in international markets.
  • IP Australia, on how to protect the company’s brand and logo internationally.
  • Industry Skills Fund, to identify training needs within H2coco and co-contribute funds.

H2coco now has access to a Business Growth Grant (BGG) under the Programme to help guide the development of a business plan which will be implemented over three years.

Patrick helped David and Nick throughout the BGG process, including briefing the consultant on H2coco and their engagement with the Programme.

“I feel it is a privilege to be accepted into the Entrepreneurs’ Programme and great to see the Government helping out small businesses. I have developed a great relationship with my allocated adviser who has brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the business,” David said.

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