Analysts: CBD-Infused Food, Beverage Market Poised for ‘Aggressive Expansion’

Will Kreznick

Matt Thomas didn’t found his company, Brew Dr., thinking he would someday sell kombucha that’s infused with hemp derived CBD. In fact, in 2021, CBD-infused products still only make up roughly one-tenth of 1% of Brew Dr.’s business. Yet, like any good businessperson, Thomas knows he needs to plan for […]

Matt Thomas didn’t found his company, Brew Dr., thinking he would someday sell kombucha that’s infused with hemp derived CBD. In fact, in 2021, CBD-infused products still only make up roughly one-tenth of 1% of Brew Dr.’s business.

Yet, like any good businessperson, Thomas knows he needs to plan for the future. And the Oregon CEO knows that CBD-infused food and beverages have a big future. (CBD, or Cannabidiol, -infused products are typically derived from hemp plants).

“Ten years is a good, nice round number to put to it. But I think it will be substantial, absolutely,” Thomas says of the CBD-infused market’s impending boom.

Consider: the CBD-infused drinks market alone has grown from $7 million in 2017 to $318 million currently, according to Brightfield Group, which closely monitors the market segment. By 2025, the CBD food and beverage market in the U.S. is expected to be valued at $2.65 billion, according to Statista. In a company statement, Brightfield Group noted that the CBD-infused food and beverage market should see an aggressive expansion of product offerings and availability once the FDA provides thorough regulatory clarifications.

The CBD-infused food and beverage market and its significant growth potential are the subject of The Food Institute’s upcoming, in-depth report, which will be released Tuesday. In advance of that extensive report, here’s a primer on the subject, provided by Thomas, whose better-for-you beverage company is in its 13th year.

Q: WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO DELVE INTO THE CBD BEVERAGE MARKET?

A: (Matt Thomas) “It makes sense to pair kombucha and CBD. It’s a food-as-medicine type of beverage. I don’t want to say it’s like ibuprofen, but it’s helpful for a lot of issues for people.

And [CBD-infused drinks] were something that our consumers were asking us if we were going to do.”

Q: WHAT TYPES OF CBD-INFUSED PRODUCTS WILL WE SEE MORE OF SOON?

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A: “I think producers and consumers are thinking about it [to help] unwind – something that may be consumed as a treat, like a glass of wine, or chocolate. You’ve already seen it a lot in, like, chocolate bars. CBD gummies, where people might take that after going on a run or something, when their body aches.

I would imagine, with the growth of non-alcoholic beer, that it would make sense for CBD to be put in there.”

Q: DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE THE MARKET FOR CBD-INFUSED FOOD AND BEVERAGES GROW SIGNIFICANTLY IN THE NEXT DECADE?

A: “I think you’ve got to expect it. I think it’s certainly in its infancy now, and … as more states open up the opportunity for their citizens to consume cannabis or hemp CBD products, then you’re going to just see a growing awareness in the sampling. I think it will be substantial, absolutely.”

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