US natural foods company Carrington Farms wanted a better alternative to cold-pressed coconut cooking oil which tended to solidify in cooler temperatures. Chemrez rose up to the challenge and offered them something unprecedented: a coconut oil that stays liquid. As it became commercial, word of an odor-free, flavour-free, and easily pourable coconut cooking oil that stays liquid spread like wildfire. Liquid coconut oil paved the way for Chemrez to offer nutritional products worldwide.
In 2014, a quick business trip to the Philippines by a Carrington Farms executive paved the way for a distinctly new concept in coconut cooking oil. With roots in New Jersey, USA, the organic and natural foods company had been marketing non-genetically modified products such as flax seed, hemp, chia, organic teas, and organic cold-pressed coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil was fast becoming a household staple; it was flying off the shelves yet local coconut producers could not keep up with the high demand.
Carrington Farms chief executive officer David Eben was met by Chemrez Technologies, Inc. managing director Dean Lao, Jr. on the last day of his visit to the Philippines. Eben wanted to know if there were much better options to strengthen their coconut product line. He had another dilemma: cold-pressed coconut oil naturally solidified in colder temperatures. It had to be scooped out from wide-mouthed jars which made cooking more taxing. Eben knew that Chemrez had the technical know-how and experience in the production of coconut-based products.
Lao asked, “what if we created a Blue Ocean opportunity for ourselves?” From a restaurant’s paper napkin, he drew a concept: a coconut oil that stays liquid. This piqued Eben’s interest. To him, it was unheard-of. He asked if it was even possible. Moreover, the factory to produce it wasn’t even in existence. It was clearly a white space, an opportunity unserved, yet something that only Chemrez could create.
Eben asked for proof of concept—actual samples of this “liquid coconut oil” that he could present to giant supermarket chains like Target, Costco, and Walmart. Chemrez rose up to the challenge and immediately developed a prototype. The company harnessed its extensive R&D resources to produce a now tangible liquid coconut oil. They came up with a sample very quickly which was sent to Carrington Farms. Not only did they embrace the concept, they asked how soon it would take to make it commercial. They were excited to have it on supermarket shelves in all states.
Carrington Farms already knew that liquid coconut oil was going to be a welcome innovation not only to customers but to the entire natural foods segment. Chemrez invested its resources on the project and put up a factory to produce it. Within a year, liquid coconut oil was born. Carrington Farms called it Coconut Cooking Oil, a healthier cooking oil that is natural, non-GMO and packaged in a BPA-free bottle.
Sales flew and online stores such as Amazon helped the product category expand even further. Word of an odor-free, flavour-free, and easily pourable coconut cooking oil that stays liquid spread like wildfire. People saw a liquid oil, not a cumbersome solid fat. There was no need for a jar from which to scoop it out nor the use of heat to make it liquid and pourable.
Moreover, they discovered that coconut cooking oil could be used in so many ways other than sautéing and baking. It was also an effective skin moisturizer, hair conditioner, teeth whitener, and so much more. Most importantly, they learned about the amazing benefits of liquid coconut oil. Being pure MCT or medium chain triglycerides, it is a natural source of energy for the brain and body.
From identifying a white space to commercial production, liquid coconut oil paved the way for Chemrez to offer nutritional products not just in the USA, but in other countries as well.
Who would have thought that a simple concept written on a paper napkin would redefine coconut oil? Its message was single-minded: it was easy to use. Liquid coconut oil is proof that necessity is the mother of invention. Together, Chemrez and Carrington Farms created a new category in the US, strengthening its goal of enriching lives through product innovation.
Visit www.carringtonfarms.com for more information.