According to market research firm Brightfield Group, consumers are looking to CBD drinks for numerous reasons or occasions, from functional and fun beverages for wellness and as alcohol substitutes.
“With so many existing occasions and reasons to enjoy a drink, CBD beverage companies need to get creative and specific with their positionings,” said Brightfield Group’s Madeline Scanlon. “Whether casting a wide net or hooking a specific niche, the real catch is gaining loyal customers that come to you for a distinct purpose.”
In Q2 2021, 45% of CBD consumers report taking CBD daily, Brightfield Group reported. CBD drinks are a natural fit for this type of regular CBD consumer.
“One of the barriers to entry for daily CBD use is price, and CBD drinks tend to have a higher price per dose than tinctures or gummies,” Scanlon said. “Enter drink mixes! CBD drink mixes are getting in the mix offering familiar, affordable options for sipping CBD. Single-serving packets are easy to prepare, take up little space and are more pleasant than swallowing a pill or taking a drop of tincture to the tongue.”
While there are numerous uses for CBD, “it can be hard to craft a product that delivers on that effect when CBD use can be so subtle — especially if the consumer is not consistently using CBD,” Scanlon noted. “So instead of overpromising on specific benefits, brands are finding a sweet spot highlighting CBD’s benefits for homeostasis.”
While research is in its early stages, preliminary results show CBD — and other phytocannabinoids like CBG and THC — could help bodies stay in homeostasis, or “the self-regulating process by which an organism tends to maintain stability while adjusting to conditions that are best for its survival.”
According to Brightfield Group’s Alcohol Trends and Non-Alcoholic Trends reports, consumers are drinking less alcohol than they were pre-pandemic. New Evergi Consumers data also shows 60% of American alcohol consumers say they are using less alcohol than in the past.
Of consumers who report drinking less, 11% say they are swapping alcohol with CBD drinks, according to Evergi Consumers data. With another 29% of these consumers substituting alcohol with “nothing,” there is still plenty of opportunity to position CBD as the perfect alcohol alternative.
For a CBD drink to become a “non-alcoholic alternative,” it should be positioned among alcohol options, Scanlon noted.
“As with all CBD categories, the competition will only continue to increase as new consumers discover CBD and regulations give the green light to big beverage companies,” said Scanlon. “Having the right data to back brand positioning paves the road to successful products that solve distinct consumer needs. But first, a brand must be able to answer — what is my CBD drink for?”