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?
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.”