A Whangārei company will soon have its products in almost 5000 American stores after it signed a supply agreement with Target Supermarkets.

Cocavo, operating out of Whangārei since November 2016, has now added a large number of Target supermarkets to its rapidly growing US sales platform.

Cocavo company directors Neville Montefiore and Chris Nathan said Cocavo had secured an agreement with the US-based supermarket giant Target to supply three varieties of our amazing Cocavo Oils into 725 Target stores across the US in late September this year.
That's about half of Target's US stores.

"Securing this agreement in the wake of the company's recent success supplying over 4000 Walmart stores has not been without its logistical challenges considering Cocavo has only been in production for 32 months, but rise to these challenges we did," Montefiore said.


He said the company was already geared up to supply the new contract and was looking to expand even further in the future, with moves into Europe and Asia already planned, with some supplies already sent to Germany and Singapore.

''We are also setting up a coconut oil extraction plant in Fiji and with Chris having an avocado oil press our supplies will be secure. We have had to get our coconut oil in from places like the Philippines and Solomon Islands so it will be great to have our own supply,'' he said.

Montefiore said that, as a relatively new company experiencing rapid growth in its early years of development, Cocavo has felt the labour pains of this growth, and the challenges around gearing up to deliver on the demanding expectations of retail giants such as Target and Walmart.

Coconut and avocado oil products from Whangārei firm Cocavo will be sold in almost $5000 stores in the US.
Coconut and avocado oil products from Whangārei firm Cocavo will be sold in almost $5000 stores in the US.

To address the demands of distribution across the US, Cocavo engaged a third-party logistics company based in Texas to handle the challenges of distribution into over 60 Distribution Centres spread across the US.

"Cocavo had a vision and the foresight to recognise we had a unique product that bought together two of the culinary world's healthiest cooking oils, extra virgin coconut oil and extra virgin avocado oil to create Cocavo Oil and allow for the development of other products that would sit nicely under the Cocavo brand," Nathan said.

Cocavo has a number of new products under development that the company feels will fill gaps in the market identified as a perfect fit for the Cocavo brand.

As with any new product in development, there is a huge capital requirement for not only research and development but also production and, importantly, marketing.

"Having a range of our products already available in retail giants like Walmart and Target gives the company the opportunity to pitch new products into these already established markets which is exciting," Montefiore said.


Cocavo's parent company, EVCO International Limited, has started a project in Fiji where the company is establishing its own extra virgin coconut oil production factory, using technology developed by Nathan.

"Our coconut oil production will be a game-changer for the industry, producing extra virgin coconut oil at a volume and specification not seen anywhere else in the world," he said.