Costco Coconut Water {Four Harmless Harvest Alternatives}

I had been reading about the benefits of drinking coconut water, specifically the ability to help fight leg cramps, and wanted to see what was available at Costco.

I did a quick search in the standard Facebook groups and the general consensus was that the Harmless Harvest coconut water was the best but it looked like Costco no longer carries the brand.  So, I headed down to Costco to see what other brands were stocked in my store.

The Costco in Baton Rouge stocks the following brands of coconut water:

  • Kirkland Signature Organic
    • 99% Juice
    • 100% Juice
  • Vita CoCo
  • Real CoCo 

Keep reading and we will cover my thoughts on the Kirkland Signature brand and what other folks think of Vital CoCo and Real CoCo coconut water.

Kirkland Signature Organic Coconut Water

Kirkland Signature Organic Coconut Water

This is one of those cases where I did my research after buying the wrong product.  It turns out that there are two types of Kirkland Organic Coconut Water and I bought the wrong one.

The two types are:

  • Shelf Stable, 99% Juice
  • Perishable, Refrigerated, 100% Juice

Let’s take a look at these two options.

Kirkland Coconut Water {Shelf Stable, 99% Juice}

I bought the 12 pack of 11 ounce containers of Kirkland coconut water because it was the cheapest option and I really didn’t have any other information to base a buying decision upon.

I tried the water over a glass of ice and was not happy with the flavor.  I had expected the water to be slightly sweet and nutty with the obvious coconut flavor profile.  Instead of being sweet and nutty the best description I can find for this water is sour.  Nobody in my house liked this product.

Glass of Kirkland Coconut Water on Ice

The 11 ounce containers are shelf stable and I believe the was accomplished through pasteurization which changed the flavor of the water.  It looks like Costco tried to reclaim some of the sweetness lost in pasteurization by adding in 3g of sugar per container.

I really don’t need any more added sugar in my foods so this made the water an even bigger disappointment.

I researched the product a little more and realized that Costco has a second version of the Kirkland water that I think would have been a better choice for me.

Kirkland Coconut water with added sugar

Kirkland Coconut Water {Shelf Stable, 99% Juice}

I headed back to Costco to see what other options they had and spotted a six pack of 100% Juice Kirkland Organic Coconut Water in the refrigerated section that was a fundamentally different product.

Unlike the shelf stable product I had bought, this coconut water is perishable and must be refrigerated.  This suggests that the water has not been heat treated and has the natural flavor one should expect from coconut water. Indeed, there is no sugar added to this refrigerated product.

Another clue that this is a pure coconut water is that the water is pink which is a natural, and safe, color transition that happens as untreated coconut water ages.

Another difference between the shelf stable and refrigerated Kirkland coconut waters is the country of origin.  The shelf stable product is a product of the Philippines while the refrigerated product is a product of Thailand.  I have read many forum threads, Facebook posts, etc from hard core coconut water lovers who say that the country where the coconuts come from has a major impact on the flavor of the water.

If I buy coconut water again from Costco it will be the 100% Juice variety in the refrigerated section.

Perishable Kirkland Coconut Water with No Sugar

Other Coconut Water Options at Costco

My Costco has some coconut water options from brands other than Kirkland Signature including:

  • Vita CoCo
  • Real CoCo

Here is a little information on these brands.

Vita CoCo Coconut Water at Costco

The Vita CoCo water comes in an 18 pack of 330 ml containers.  The organic water has been pasteurized and is shelf stable.

Vita CoCo coconut water contains 2g of added sugar per container.

The coconuts come from a variety of locations including southeast Asia and Brazil.

Vita Coconut Water at Costco

This Vita CoCo water is also sold on Amazon and the customer reviews are shown below.

With over 13,000 reviews the water is extremely popular.  When you combine the 5 and 4 star reviews you find that the product has a 91% customer satisfaction rating.

Customer Reviews of Vita CoCo Coconut water

Real CoCo Coconut Water at Costco

The Real CoCo water comes in an 12 pack of 500 ml containers.  The organic water has been pasteurized and is shelf stable.

Real CoCo coconut water contains 0g of added sugar per container.

The coconuts come from Vietnam.

Real CoCo Water at Costco

This Real CoCo water is also sold on Amazon and the customer reviews are shown below.

With less than 400 reviews the water is not as popular as the Vita CoCo product.  When you combine the 5 and 4 star reviews you find that the product has a 89% customer satisfaction rating.

This product received 7% 1 star reviews.  When I scrolled through the 1 Star comments it appeared that most of the issues concerned customers who received damaged, busted containers and could not get a refund.

Customer Reviews of Real CoCo Organic Coconut Water

 

 

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