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Michael Kirban & Ira Liran: Coconut Water Popularizers

These 40 up-and-comers—all 40 years old or younger—are changing the way Americans eat and drink, from a vodka distiller who rewrote Nebraska's Prohibition-era laws to a White House chef who's fiercely fighting to improve school-lunch programs.

Michael Kirban & Ira Liran: Coconut Water Popularizers

Michael Kirban & Ira Liran

Photo © Jordan Hollender, 2009.


In the span of a few years, childhood friends Michael Kirban (photo), 35, and Ira Liran, 32, took coconut water—a super-nutritious, low-calorie drink—and turned it into Vita Coco, the biggest company in the category, with celebrity investors like Madonna. Mixologists and chefs are using it for recipes, too, expanding its popularity beyond gym-goers and yogis.

Plus Go to the Vito Coco website


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