Coca-Cola Interested in Creating CBD-Infused Beverages

Coca-Cola developing first CBD beverage

Coca-Cola may be joining a Canadian cannabis producer to create CBD-infused beverages. It is the latest of several companies to attempt to enter this budding market. Since soda sales are dropping as a result of growing interest in health and wellness, Coca-Cola is diversifying its products to reach this audience. This move bodes well for the CBD industry and adds to its already growing acceptance in society.

Coca-Cola Is Entering the Cannabis Market

Coca-Cola is in talks with Aurora Cannabis, a Canadian-based cannabis producer, to create beverages infused with cannabidiol (CBD), according to a report by Bloomberg News.

In an email to Bloomberg, Kent Landers, the spokesman for Coca-Cola, said the company was looking at CBD as an ingredient for “functional wellness beverages” with the purpose of easing inflammation, pain, and cramping.

Both Landers and Heather MacGregor, an Aurora spokeswoman, declined to speak on specifics about the talks between the two parties. No deals have been made and there is no guarantee that a deal will be reached.

Nevertheless, shares for Aurora jumped significantly (17%) while Coke saw a modest increase as a result of the news.

Beverage Makers Teaming Up With Cannabis Producers

Coke is not the only company to start making plans for an entry into the cannabis-infused beverage market.

With recreational marijuana set to be legal in Canada effective October 17, many businesses, such as Constellation Brands Inc. (the brewing company of Corona beer) and Molson Coors Brewing Co., are teaming up with Canadian marijuana producers to get into the growing market.

More companies may follow suit in the near future as Canada’s legalization date nears.

Vivien Azer, an analyst with the financial services firm Cowen, believes that Pepsi may be one of them, since CBD could complement Gatorade drinks.

A Shift in the Culture

Businesses seem to be reaching out to cannabis producers in response to a shift in the culture. Increasingly, more people are health conscious and are turning away from soda as a result. This is reflected in companies’ sales.

Coke’s annual revenue in 2017 was $35.4 billion, 15.5 percent lower than the previous year, forcing the company to look for new ways to diversify. Coke began branching out in August when it revealed it would be acquiring Costa Coffee, a British coffee chain.

With news of Coke potentially joining forces with Aurora now, it seems CBD-infused drinks will be Coke’s way to reach audiences interested in health and wellness.

Societal Acceptance of CBD

This groundbreaking move by a beverage giant like Coca-Cola speaks to the growing acceptance of CBD in society.

An exclusive report by the Brightfield Group predicts the CBD industry will be worth $22 billion by 2022. As of now, the industry is estimated to hit $591 million by the end of 2018, which means the report expects CBD to grow 40 times in value within 4 years.

The Brightfield Group’s massive expected increase is attributable to recent events.

In June 2018, the FDA approved the first CBD-based medical treatment, a medication created by GW Pharmaceuticals for epilepsy.

Also, the current 2018 Farm Bill includes language proposed by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that would completely legalize hemp. Removing the restrictions from hemp will inherently help the CBD industry expand as the plant will become much more accessible.

Now, with Coke and other companies expressing interest in cannabis-infused drinks, the CBD industry is primed to explode.

>