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The Truth Revealed: What Are the Differences Between Coconut Water, Coconut Milk and Coconut Cream?

Coconuts are a versatile fruit that offer much more than what initially meets the eye. Under the husk of a coconut lies 3 additional layers, including the shell, the meat and the water, from which coconut water, coconut milk and coconut cream are produced. While these three ingredients are well-known, the differences between them may surprise you. To help you understand which product will best suit your needs, we’ve broken down the differences between coconut water, coconut milk and coconut cream. 

Coconut Water

Young green coconut water is a translucent, naturally occurring liquid that is extracted from coconuts aged approximately 6-9 months. The sweetness and saltiness of coconut water ranges depending on the coconut's potassium level. At Covico, we evaporate our coconut water and turn it into a 100% Coconut Water Powder with no added ingredients, allowing for benefits not possessed by liquid coconut water such as logistical and storage benefits, a longer shelf life and a consistent, delicious taste. Coconut water is a fantastic addition to other flavors/fruits, smoothie mixes, teas, baking mixes, beer, mocktails, snack bars, yogurt, ice cream, desserts, snacks, or simply on its own as a stand-alone ingredient. Learn more about Covico Evaporated Coconut Water here

Young green coconuts, aged 6-9 months, which typically are the producers of coconut water.

Coconut Milk and Cream

Coconut milk typically comes from the meat of a mature coconut aged 11-13 months...and coconut cream comes from the exact same part of the coconut! Lower fat levels are usually labeled coconut milk and higher fat levels are often called coconut cream. At Covico, we label this coconut liquid as coconut milk / cream, giving our customers the opportunity to select whether they want to label the product milk or cream depending on their formulation and marketing efforts. Our single ingredient Liquid Coconut Milk / Cream, available in skim 17% fat, 25% fat and 32% fat, can be a great non-dairy replacement in liquid applications. We also produce a Coconut Milk / Cream Powder that we created utilizing our proprietary evaporation technologies. We offer 3 different versions of this product: a stabilized 26% fat coconut milk / cream powder, a single ingredient 45% fat coconut milk / cream powder and a single ingredient 65% fat coconut milk / cream powder. These products are perfect additions to bakery, ice cream, coffee creamers, protein mixes, sports nutrition, confectionary, beverages, sauces and soups, or on its own as a single ingredient. Learn more about Covico Coconut Milk / Cream Powder here

Coconut milk, which typically comes from the meat of a mature coconut.

Knowing the differences and similarities between coconut water, coconut milk and coconut cream will help you decide which ingredient will be best for your formulation. Looking for other coconut products? Try our Evaporated Coconut Nectar, also known as coconut sugar, as a delicious alternative to refined sugars. To purchase any of our products or to request a sample, head to, click on the product you’re interested in, and click inquire!


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