By Don Reisinger
January 7, 2019

Coconut oil was once a favorite ingredient in kitchens. But as diners tastes change and health concerns rise, coconut oil is being tossed aside, according to new data from the World Bank.

In November, industrial coconut oil prices hovered at $786.72 per metric down, less than half of its peak price of $1,869.76 in June 2017, according to World Bank data. The Wall Street Journal, which earlier reported on the prices, also found that coconut oil imports to the U.S. are down 4% year over year.

Several years ago, coconut oil was often used in everything from food to cocktails for its apparent health benefits compared to butter and other ingredients. However, it’s come under fire in the last couple of years after the American Heart Association said in 2017 that the oil’s 82% saturated fat count is higher than what you’d find in butter and beef fat.

Soon after, health-conscious diners looked for healthier alternatives to coconut oil and restaurants, realizing that consumer tastes had changed, have increasingly looked for alternatives.

All of that has affected coconut oil imports and prices. And looking ahead, as tastes continue to evolve, coconut oil has a problem. According to an industry expert who spoke to the Journal, coconut oil has largely been replaced by a healthier alternative: avocado oil.

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