LONDON, Nov. 28, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — Brewers could tap into the emerging cannabis-infused beverages trend to attract and retain younger consumers, with a number of companies looking to invest in the sector in anticipation of cannabis becoming more widely legally available, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Early sales numbers on marijuana edibles suggest that the sector is here to stay, and edibles have strong potential because consumers – especially younger consumers – do not want to smoke.
According to a GlobalData survey, 54% of 18-24 year-olds globally say they have never smoked (the highest response by age) compared to just 33% of those over 65.
Tom Vierhile, Innovation Insights Director at GlobalData, says: “The threat of lost sales from marijuana and marijuana-laced products has been on big beer’s radar for years. Brewers also understand if they want to grow the market, they need to win with younger consumers. But younger consumers are straying from beer in worrying numbers.
“In sales collateral for its soon-to-be-launched Two Hats Pineapple Light Beer, MillerCoors says that 40% of its ‘beer losses’ come from consumers aged 21 to 24. It also says that consumers who drink beer at the age of 21 are twice as likely to stick with beer. With support rising for legalizing marijuana use in the US, cannabis-infused drinks may be one new way to hang onto younger consumers.”
Eight US states have legalized the recreational consumption of marijuana with over 20 legalizing medical marijuana. Colorado and Washington state have the most experience with marijuana edibles, and provide a glimpse at the future.
Recent cannabis-infused beverage introductions in these markets include California Dreamin’ cannabis-infused sparkling fruit juices and Cannabis Quencher Sips, launches that demonstrate how beer companies may innovate.
However, labels recommend that first-timers drink half the bottle and ‘wait an hour before enjoying more’ due to the delayed effect of marijuana edibles.
Vierhile adds: “This delayed effect proved to be problematic for marijuana edibles in first-mover states like Colorado and Washington, which experienced some public health concerns after the legalization of marijuana edibles earlier this decade.
“Colorado has just phased in a dosing size restriction of 10 milligrams of THC per serving of cannabis-laced foods and drinks and a universal THC symbol must now appear on each package. Players looking to enter this emerging market will need to consider health and legal factors when designing products and packaging.”
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