Melbourne, Mar 9: The coconut craze has reached new heights, with health food retailers struggling to meet demands for the superfood trend, it has been revealed.
Consumers are splashing big for coconut-derived waters, flours and dairy replacement products, despite the high saturated fat content, the Courier Mail reported.
Organic food retailer Deborah Wray reports that coconut water sales have tripled in the past six months, and her eight Wray Organic stores are unable to import enough coconut flour to keep up with customer demand.
There's also strong demand for drinking coconuts and coconut milk-based beverages, yoghurts and ice cream.
Coconut oil - used for nutritional and beauty reasons - sells for up to 32.95 dollars per litre online, while coconut flour costs 15-20 dollars per kg.
Demand has steadily grown since Miranda Kerr was misquoted by Cosmopolitan magazine in late 2011 saying she consumed four tablespoons - rather than teaspoons - of the oil daily.
"Two years ago we had one brand of oil, now there's about eight. Customers say they love the taste and regularly add it to smoothies," Wray said.
Previous health concerns, she said, probably related to hydrogenated coconut oil, which can convert the pure saturated fats into trans-fats, rather than the extra-virgin organic varieties now in fashion.
City-based nutritionist Jessica Cox cautions that it can be easy to overdo it.
"A certain amount of fat in the diet is really important but once you exceed that . . . it will start to affect your fatty acid profile, which can bump up your cholesterol," she said. (ANI)