August 19, 2019 by Amanpreet
Cannabis has become the buzz word in the beverage industry, and mainstream companies are already taking strides in the CBD- and/or THC-infused drinks landscape. According to a new study by Fact.MR, the global sales of cannabis infused drinks will surpass US$ 200 Mn in 2019. While the legalization of marijuana in over 10 states of the U.S. sparked a wave of innovative product launches in the edibles space, the second wave of recreational marijuana legalization resulted in a lawful emergence and proliferation of cannabis infused beverages – alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
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Beer companies have already infiltrated the cannabis industry, with leading brewers investing millions to leverage the first-mover advantage, meanwhile banking on their anticipation of a nationwide legalization of cannabis in the foreseeable future. The study finds that cannabis infused beer leads the way, accounting for nearly 70% sales of ‘alcoholic’ category. This is significant, as the ‘alcoholic’ category is estimated to hold nearly three-fourth shares of the cannabis infused drinks market. Leading brewers are focusing their efforts toward navigating the hazy path rules & regulation to deduce prospective opportune potential of cannabis-infused beer.
For large beverage manufacturers, the push into cannabis initiated by the fear of missing out; and the current boom in pot investment by leading beverage companies is driven by the already trending shift of millennials from the usual wine or cocktails to cannabis-infused beverages, beer in particular. Availability continues to be a key sales propellant of cannabis infused drinks, as these beverages are approved to be sold in modern trade chains across regions where marijuana has been legalized for medicinal and recreational use.
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The study finds a remarkable uptick in consumer preference for ‘non-alcoholic’ category, which range from functional drinks, tea and coffee, to juices. Although the non-alcoholic category currently accounts for meagre shares of cannabis infused drinks market, prospects are expected to be bullish as the permeation of recreational marijuana gradually grows, and players tap the opportune potential in the demographic group that cringes away from alcohol consumption. According to the study, sales of non-alcoholic cannabis infused drinks will record a 30% Y-o-Y in 2019 over 2018.
THC-infused drinks have been the first preference among consumers, however CBD-infused drinks have also gained sheer traction in the recent past. These two cannabinoid categories are estimated to account for over 70% sales of cannabis infused drinks worldwide in 2019. However, the study opines that hybrid cannabis infused drinks that contain both CBD and THC strains will pick up pace gradually – estimated to register a 40% Y-o-Y in 2019 over 2018.
Leveraging emerging technology, while tracking trends in mainstream beverage industries, in order to introduce innovative variants, continue to remain key expansion strategies of players in the cannabis infused drinks market. Additionally, the growing consumer preference for cannabis-infused products, which impart particular effects has been hard-pressing leading beverage companies in offering a diverse variety of THC as well as CBD dosages in their product offerings. A greater emphasis on organic and naturally-sourced ingredients continues to mold prospects of the cannabis infused drinks market.
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