The rise of CBD drinks

Jan 31, 2020

Marijuana leaf cocktail

This month, I want to discuss CBD and how the plant-based substance is having a huge impact on beverages. As the founder of a customisable drinks brand, I have become immersed in the community that surrounds new product trends and since the legalisation, more and more companies have hopped on board to create their own CBD inspired products. In this article, I look into the rise of CBD and learn a little more about the ever-growing trend and how it is having an impact on consumers and the drinks industry.

Since the legalisation at the end of 2018, the number of food and drinks infused with cannabidiol (CBD as it is locally known) has soared. Rumoured to have powerful health and wellbeing qualities, sweets, vapes, sprays and essential oils have all seen a massive popularity boom and the trend continues to rise as we move into the summer of 2019. The Morning Advertiser reported that “cannabis-infused drinks have soared by 8000% in the last couple of years.”

A by-product of marijuana and a chemical compound from the cannabis plant, CBD is a naturally occurring substance that can be used in health products and edibles and is something that I have become more and more intrigued about as the trend continues to grow. Most people, including myself, were fascinated by the product and the benefits it is rumoured to contain. It is important to know that CBD does not get you ‘high’ and is not psychoactive, which is what makes it a great ingredient to include in many products, especially drinks!

Growing in popularity

Early on, CBD made its way into oil-based infusions, perfect for meditation, relaxation and inducing a calm and meditative state, it has since slipped into the mainstream and more recently, into the grasps of many food and drink products across the UK, but what is the attraction and why has it become so popular?

Much like the organic and vegan trend which has also grown considerably in recent years, the want for healthy and body-loving ingredients is at the forefront of peoples minds, and CBD gives them just that. A drink that claims to promote health benefits will in my eyes, be picked over a drink that doesn’t… why? Because people are curious! 

VYBES have recently released a range of CBD infused drinks in the States that focuses on mind and body function, founder Jonathon Eppers reported:

“VYBES isn't a beverage, it's a feeling - a way to a more balanced and grounded life. I started making VYBES because I had to. It's become my mission to share the mind and body healing powers of CBD with everyone I can. I was introduced to CBD by a close friend, and this miraculous nutrient, a gift from mother nature, has changed my life.

“For too long, we've ignored the physical and emotional toll that living in this fast-paced, chaotic world is causing on our health. Everyone and everything is competing for our time and attention. We have more demands on us today as human beings than at any time in modern history and it's wreaking havoc on our well-being.”

Other brands like Recess have also risen to demand and released a CBD drink that is described as: “Not tired, not wired. Recess is a sparkling water infused with hemp extract and adaptogens for balance and clarity.”

Vybes instagram post

More than just a novelty, CBD has bridged the gap between generic consumer-loved beverages and the want for drinks that fits peoples drive for a health-focused lifestyle. By adding CBD to drinks, manufacturers are making it possible for consumers to enjoy infused drinks in social situations, cafes and alongside those who choose an alcoholic or soft drink option. Ultimately it gives the public a choice, something I know is a huge selling point and one that I wanted to make sure Kolibri could replicate.

The ever-changing drinks market

Much like the demand for customisable drinks, CBD is heading towards first position as one of the biggest disruptors of the beverage industry for over 20 years. Bringing together two sectors, many companies have invested in the trend and seen considerable results over the last year and I don’t think the trend is slowing down.

It has become more prevalent than ever that as a nation, convenience is key. More and more people have less time for sport, healthy eating and wellness activities, making them time poor and on the hunt for on-the-go goods that fit their hectic schedules, CBD drinks suit them perfectly.

Why does this all matter? The time-poor consumers are the buyers who continue to push these trends and will continue to have an impact on the beverage market. I personally believe that CBD will be a trend that consumes food and drink outlets for years to come, and brands will need to follow to survive in such a fast-paced and ever-changing industry. CBD and the trend that follows it is definitely a topic I will be keeping a close eye on and I look forward to seeing how it, and brands, develop to fit the change.

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