Cannabidiol (CBD) beverages and cannabis-infused beverages are a growing trend.
Some 23% of consumers report wanting to try CBD beverages and 22% say they want to try CBD-infused foods, according to market research firm Datassential.
Still, CBD-infused beverages remain a new concept to most customers. Mike Kostyo, trendologist for Datassential, pointed out that more consumers have tried recreational cannabis than have tried CBD oil.
“CBD was down as a category last year, partly because impulse purchases at c-stores were of course down in 2020,” he said. “As people get back to their normal routines, we expect sales to recover somewhat, but of course there are still legal issues federally around incorporating CBD into foods and beverages.”
“Recreational cannabis had another good year at the ballot box, and now over one-third of consumers live in a state where cannabis is recreationally legal,” Kostyo said.
In early December, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, or MORE Act, which decriminalizes cannabis by removing it from the federal Controlled Substances Act. The bill stalled in the Senate.
“The Biden administration has said it supports medical legalization, but not recreational usage,” Kostyo said.
Overall, Kostyo said, the U.S. is continuing to move towards national recreational legalization, which he believes will be achieved “at some point down the line.”
In the meantime, he expects the industry to continue innovating and expanding.
“Like alcohol, the cannabis industry was deemed essential in many states this year and it was another stress-relieving option that many consumers relied on in 2020,” Kostyo added. “In the future, expect to see more options beyond gummies and chocolates that incorporate tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).”