The year 2020 may go down as the worst in memory, but not for cannabis beverage manufacturers.
According to a report by Prohibition Partners, the global cannabis drinks market will be worth $1.82 billion by the end of the year. That number is driven by consumers looking for cost-friendly relief from the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Why are so many obeying their thirst?
“When facing an economic crisis, consumers will be more willing to buy less costly luxury goods,” says Stephen Murphy, Managing Director of Prohibition Partners. “Cannabis-infused drinks are an ideal example of this and Prohibition Partners has found that cannabis products are expected to benefit from this period of self-isolation.”
The stockpile effect
Consumers are stockpiling cannabis products in a bid to ensure that their supplies are secured indefinitely. As part of the “home entertainment line-up” in regions where cannabis is legal, beverages can expect to benefit from this trend in hard times to watch more television and spend more on little extras for their in-home leisure. The current stressors of 2020 have already proven to be a boost to cannabis-based products. Despite the current inevitable economic downturn, cannabis is still set to record impressive growth as consumers look for products to help them relax and de-stress and as the most popular format, drinks will likely be the greatest beneficiary.
“Being a firm believer that infused-beverages are the best and most enjoyable format for cannabis consumption, I’m not surprised,” says Macai Polansky, founder of Cannabis Beverage Association and co-founder of Spacestation. “Beverages are the most ubiquitous consumer packaged good found around the world. Everyone on this planet drinks something and in most social situations, a beverage will be found in peoples’ hands. I look forward to the day that cannabis-infused beverages can be consumed at bars and restaurants and are more widely available to the masses.”
Consumer demand is rising
The report finds that one in four consumers or would-be consumers of other cannabinoid-based products would be willing to try cannabis-infused drinks, and 28 percent of people who have already tried infused beverage consumers say they intend to buy more infused consumer goods in the coming three months.
Claire Birks, Prohibition Partners Senior Analyst says “The global drinks market may be large but overall industry growth is slow with some analysts forecasting annual growth at around just 3%. Our research has found that cannabis-drinks, however, are poised for much bigger growth and point towards an almost 45% compound annual growth rate for the cannabis-infused segment of the drinks industry.”
Says Murphy, “We are on the cusp of a drinks revolution, for hundreds of years, legal socializing has either involved alcohol, or sobriety; outside of caffeine and nicotine, ultimately you either got drunk, or you didn’t. The emerging cannabis drinks market is one of the most exciting sectors within the beverage industry; cannabis infusion will truly disrupt the drinks market and become a highly lucrative source of revenue for those who embrace it.”
Aaron Silverstein, Managing Director of BevZero told Green Entrepreneur that “Cannabis beverage products that can replace alcoholic drinks, such as wine or beer, are more necessary right now during the COVID-19 pandemic than ever before.”
He pointed to a statement issued by The World Health Organization indicating that alcohol use could weaken the immune system, and that heavy alcohol use increased the risk of some of the most severe complications of COVID-19.
For this reason, consumers are turning to beverages like House of Saka’s non-alcoholic cannabis-infused Chardonnay and Cann Social Tonics to replace their alcohol consumption with cannabis options that are familiar and meet many of the same needs.
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News