PowerPlant Co-Founder Mark Rampolla talks ‘Coconut Water Wars’ with Inc. mag

March 17, 2021


One Mon­day last Octo­ber, in his home over­look­ing the Pacif­ic Ocean south of Los Ange­les, Mark Ram­pol­la’s phone rang repeat­ed­ly and emails flood­ed his inbox. Word had leaked over the week­end that Coca-Cola was dis­con­tin­u­ing Zico, the coconut water brand Ram­pol­la had sold to the bev­er­age giant in 2013. Old friends and for­mer col­leagues want­ed to know how he was tak­ing the news.

The father of two daugh­ters, Ram­pol­la had often joked that Zico was his son. So he felt a twinge of sad­ness about the brand’s founder­ing under Coke’s lead­er­ship. But that emo­tion quick­ly changed to excite­ment and hope. The 51-year-old entre­pre­neur reached out to Coke’s merg­ers and acqui­si­tions group right away, ini­ti­at­ing what would become weeks of secret nego­ti­a­tions to reac­quire Zico. On New Year’s Eve, Ram­pol­la’s phone rang once again. That night, he cel­e­brat­ed not just the arrival of 2021 but also anoth­er chance to com­pete in the coconut water busi­ness.

To con­tin­ue read­ing this arti­cle please vis­it its orig­i­nal pub­li­ca­tion here on Inc.com.

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