Health and wellness appear to be the primary marketing position for new cannabinoid beverage launches.
Canadian cannabis firm Canopy Growth is planning to launch a THC-containing drink in the US at some point in 2021. It will position it as a superior option to alcohol from a health and wellness perspective. It will particularly emphasise its lower calorie make-up and lesser hangover potential.
“Just as hard seltzer disrupted beer by providing a lighter, low-calorie alternative, we believe cannabis beverages will be an attractive option for what have traditionally been alcohol-driven occasions and mood states,” said Canopy CEO David Klein.
The firm plans to launch in California and Illinois this summer with its distribution network and move into other states in following months. The first stage of the launch will target dispensaries, followed by retail locations when that is legally possible.
Klein said consumer insights indicated that cannabis drinks may be a better fit than alcohol for certain people, “such as a young parent who seeks to unwind with a beverage at the end of the day, but can’t afford a hangover with their 5 a.m. wake-up call”.
Stand up and promote
Meanwhile US stand-up comic and CBD advocate Joe Rogan has teamed up with Atlanta-based clean energy drinks manufacturer Kill Cliff to promote a new CBD drink called Flaming Joe. The spicy pineapple drink contains 125 mg of broad-spectrum hemp, B-vitamins, electrolytes and plant extracts.
Rogan frequently discusses the mental and physical benefits of CBD in his podcasts, which have featured celebrity guests such as Mike Tyson and Miley Cyrus.
“Today’s consumer is rightfully more aware than ever of what they put in their bodies,” said Kill Cliff CEO John Brenkus.
Also targeting health conscious consumers is Chicago-based start-up Cruise Beverages, which has launched a new line of drinks containing 25 mg of CBD, organic green bean caffeine and natural fruit extracts.
The firm’s co-founder Brian Post said: “Daily life is very stressful. We wanted to give consumers a premium functional craft beverage, as an alternative to alcohol drinks. Our nitro-infused CBD craft beverages give the consumer a boost of energy, help increase focus, while reducing stress.”
Beyond the US
British CBD beverage brand owner InTune has launched a range of CBD drink mixers in lemon, ginger and tonic flavours that contain 5 mg of CBD and fewer than 75 calories. The drinks are available online from the company now and there are plans to launch to the retail market later this year.
In Canada, infused cannabinoid drinks firm BevCanna announced last month its acquisition of beverage manufacturer Naturo. This will create a white-label beverage manufacturing and distribution company, with a global multi-channel distribution network of traditional retail and cannabis sales channels.
BevCanna will take ownership of Naturo’s 40,000 square foot drinks factory, 315 acres of cultivable land and onsite alkaline spring water source.
“Creating innovative beverages that consumers will love, whether mineral or cannabis-based, wellness-focused or recreational, continues to be our passion,” said Marcello Leone, founder of Naturo and CEO of BevCanna.
BevCanna will also acquire Naturo’s flagship alkaline sparkling water brand Trace, which is expanding its product selection to nutraceuticals and herbal remedies, including cannabinoids, adaptogens and nootropics, which are claimed to improve cognitive function.
– Lorraine Mullaney CBD-Intel staff