Ed Westwick, Chris Pine, Padma Lakshmi

Albert Michael/startraksphoto.com; James Breeden/Kevin Perkins, PacificCoastNews.com

Why is every single celebrity on the planet being photographed with coconut water? They have to be getting paid, right?
—LanSI, via the Answer B!tch inbox

The celebrity quotient is awfully high for Vita Coco coconut water.

We're talking Chris Pine, Anna Paquin & Vampire Bill, Ed Westwick, Karolina Kurkova, AnnaLynne McCord, Kara DioGuardi, Padma Lakshmi and Kristin Cavallari, all of whom have been spotted drinking the stuff.

Given that stars have been known to charge for such convenient placements (Oscar gowns, anyone?) does that mean Vita is following suit? Not necessarily.

In fact, this may be a case of another celebrity pulling the strings...

First of all, a company spokesman tells me none of the above stars have been paid to walk around in front of the paps drinking the water of young, green coconuts—which, for the record, is what Vita Coco is.

Several celebrities, including Westwick, received free product on-set, but others bought it or picked it up on their own, the company tells me.

The company is privately held, which means there really is no way for an outsider to know whether Vita Coco is being truthful about the payment thing. But there is evidence that this could be a genuine, noncommercially enhanced celebrity trend.

First, there are the investors: Madonna, still an influencer at 51, anted up a reported $1.5 million for Vita Coco earlier this year. Demi Moore and Matthew McConaughey have also put money in. So has Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis.

That's important, because if they have a stake in the company, stars are likely to promote the product among their fancy friends, and that's exactly what they've done.

For an Oscars afterparty this year, hosted at the the home of Madonna's manager, Guy Oseary, Moore created a cocktail called the Vita Coco Caipirinha and served it to the guests. Buzz ensued.

One other major factor: The stuff is fat-free and is being touted as an alternative to sports drinks—a way to hydrate and replace electrolytes without a bunch of calories. For a star, that kind of selling point is like catnip.

Plus: Mmmm! Green coconuts!


Hey, you know who loves coconuts? Those kids on Survivor, that's who.

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