Coconut water from Vietnam

A few weeks ago, I was craving coconut water. Within an hour, my very sweet boyfriend had purchased a dozen coconuts from someone selling them on the road, had his cousin chop them open to drain the liquid, and I was drinking it literally fresh from the fruit. We had collected a gallon of coconut water. It was so delicious.

Earlier this week, I was again craving coconut water and I was in the supermarket, so I picked up a couple of cans. It was only when I got home that I noticed that it was from Vietnam. I could have bought local coconut water manufactured by Grace, but picked up the GoodLife brand, assuming it too was locally sourced. Why is Jamaica importing coconut water? Not only are there local vendors who package and sell it, but you can get it on most street corners, straight from its original package.

This is a question for an economist, of course, and requires further research. Just thought I would point it out. I have also noticed that there are several brands of imported banana chips for sale in most stores. Why? I will ponder this today.

4 thoughts on “Coconut water from Vietnam

  1. It’s emblematic of trade, nothing special about Jamaica. Just because a country produces something doesn’t mean it need not or should not import the same product. Most goods or services that appear the same differ in some degree. Also, production costs differ, and Jamaica is notorious for high costs, in part because energy is dear. So, certain imports can compete well on quality, taste, and/or cost grounds.

    Coconut water has been in short supply as a result of the drought–see the regular notice of ‘no water’ in recent months at the Coconut Industry Board outlet in Kingston. That alone would have made imports attractive. Add to that recent demand for coconut water as hydration to ward off chik v symptoms and you have more space for imports.

    The inconvenience of not getting coconut water when needed can be costly for businesses that rely on it, eg restaurants, and our packaged product may be attractive to ensure regular supplies, but we then have to compete with the enormous supplies that exist in south east Asia.

    If you look carefully at some Grace products, for instance, you’ll see that imported goods are within. That’s business.

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