Companies Explore Market Potential for Ready-to-Drink CBD Beverages

The market for cannabidiol (CBD) beverages alone could achieve a value of $260 million in the United States by 2022. CBD beverages form part of an even wider market for marijuana-infused drinks that is predicted to reach a value of $600 million in three years’ time.

  • U.S market for CBD and THC beverages could reach $600 million by 2022.
  • Cannabis-infused drinks could outperform other cannabis products.
  • Non-cannabis and cannabis companies alike are joining this new market .

Savvy companies are looking to position themselves in this burgeoning market, often by partnering with companies that provide invaluable experience in the sector. Youngevity International Inc. (NASDAQ: YGYI) (YGYI Profile), an established omni-direct lifestyle company, has formed a cross-marketing agreement with a bottled spring water company, which will see the pair develop new products including a ready-to-drink CBD beverage. Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) is partnering with the world’s largest brewer in a $100-million joint venture to research cannabis-infused nonalcoholic drinks. Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX:WEED) recently received a $4 billion investment from a leading beer maker. Other companies are looking to grow in additional cannabis spaces. Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX:ACB) recently received a license from Health Canada permitting the sale of cannabis softgel capsules. And GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH) announced that its FDA-approved anti-epileptic drug is now available in the United States.

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Injecting Growth into Product Portfolios 

Recent reports by Canaccord Genuity indicate that cannabis and CBD-infused beverages have the potential to outperform cannabis products, reaching up to 20 percent of the market for cannabis-containing consumables by 2022. “While these trends represent a significant opportunity for U.S. cannabis companies, they have not gone unnoticed by large mainstream beverage players looking to inject growth into their product portfolio,” said Canaccord analyst Bobby Burleson, who also predicts that ready-to-drink CBD beverages will form part of the growing market for wellness drinks.

Indeed, a number of U.S and Canadian pharmaceutical, cannabis, beverage and even lifestyle companies have developed or are planning to develop CBD-infused beverages. These developments often begin with, or result in, new partnerships.

Joining Forces to Share, Build and Develop

Youngevity International Inc. (NASDAQ: YGYI) has entered an exclusive cross-marketing agreement with Icelandic Glacial™. The agreement includes plans to develop new products including CBD drinks in order to extend the market for Youngevity’s lifestyle brands and Icelandic Glacial’s market reach.

Icelandic Glacial bottled water will be added to Youngevity’s roster of health, wellness, food and beverage brands. Owned by Icelandic Water Holdings and registered in Iceland, the Icelandic Glacial brand offers water that comes from the naturally alkaline spring Ölfus Spring, has a low mineral content and is certified CarbonNeutral®.

Youngevity and Icelandic Glacial have agreed to partner for three years. Icelandic Glacial bottled water will be sold alongside Youngevity’s direct selling supplements, including 90 for Life, CBD products, pet supplements and the coffee holdings of Youngevity’s wholly owned subsidiary, CLR Roasters. During the three-year period, Youngevity will not promote any other bottled water, and Icelandic Glacial will not promote any other supplement businesses or products.

“With its rare, naturally occurring, high-pH level, low-mineral content, and unique lava rock filtering system – as well as its positioning as the world’s first CarbonNeutral bottled water company – Icelandic Glacial is perfectly positioned to serve not only customers who want a pure-tasting water that makes them feel and perform their best but also eco-friendly consumers who want to make sure their money goes to brands with a conscience,” said Steve Wallach, CEO of Youngevity International Inc.

Youngevity will use its marketing and multilevel marketing expertise to help Icelandic Glacial build its brand and reach new customers in the United States and around the globe. In return, Icelandic Water Holdings plans to introduce its customers to Youngevity’s health and nutrition products. Icelandic has a 14-year history of serving health and quality-conscious consumers while building a brand known for purity. The company has a completely sustainable operation fueled solely by geothermal and hydroelectric power. Icelandic Water is committed to reaching a target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Entering the CBD Product Market  

The development of a ready-to-drink CBD beverage will be the first of the partnership’s potential new products. Future ideas may include possible special products for a range of markets based on CBD and other life-enhancing supplements.

Youngevity first entered the $7.7 billion cannabis industry with the introduction of its Hemp FX™ brand in October 2018. The new product line includes three blends of hemp-derived cannabinoid oil products: a topical cream, softgel capsules and a relaxing sleep oil. Each formula contains organically grown hemp-derived cannabinoids combined with Youngevity signature nutrients.

“Hemp-derived cannabidiol aligns with what we do very well,” said Wallach. “We’ve taken what we know about essential nutrients, along with decades of knowledge specializing in natural, plant-based nutrition and their most beneficial nutrients, and put that knowledge to work to develop high-end cannabidiol products.”

Youngevity operates a hybrid direct-sales business model combined with e-commerce and social selling to deliver a virtual main street of products and services under one entity. Its entire range includes products from eight top-selling retail categories including health/nutrition, home/family, food/beverage (including coffee), spa/beauty, fashion, essential oils and photo.

A Global Market Worth $22 Billion by 2020

Reports suggest the entire hemp-derived CBD market will hit $22 billion globally by 2022. Much of the focus on CBD-infused products and drinks is towards the healthy lifestyle consumer market. However, more big brand beverage companies are expected to enter the industry and create CBD-infused non-alcoholic beverages for a broader spectrum of consumers. CBD-focused developments and partnerships are likely to increase as industry regulation becomes clearer.

For example, medical cannabis company Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY) announced a research partnership with Labatt Breweries parent company AB InBev to explore the potential of THC- and CBD-infused non-alcoholic beverages. This partnership will be limited to Canada, with Tilray participating through its Canadian adult-use cannabis subsidiary. The partnership calls for each company investing up to $50 million in the project.

Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX:WEED) continues to benefit from a massive multibillion-dollar investment by Corona-beer maker Constellation Brands. The move will extend the collaboration from the development of cannabis-based beverages to co-developing products across a complete range of cannabis extracts. It also allows Canopy Growth to build scale in the more than 30 countries considering legalization of medical cannabis and establish essential infrastructure required to supply new recreational adult-use markets.

After obtaining the required licensing, Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB) (TSX:ACB) has commenced shipments of cannabis softgel capsules for both the Canadian medical and adult-use markets. The company expects to start exporting to international markets early this year. Aurora intends to make its smoke-free softgel product available to all of its domestic and international target markets over time where legally possible. “Softgels are a high-volume, high-margin product for both the medical and adult-use markets that are in strong demand, and Aurora is one of few companies making these products available to patients and consumers alike,” said Aurora CEO Terry Booth.

Apart from cannabis-infused beverages, GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH) product EPIDIOLEX is the first FDA-approved CBD oral medicine available by prescription in the United States for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in patients two years of age or older. Its Sativex brand was the first-ever natural cannabis plant derivative to achieve market approval.

For more information about Youngevity International, please visit Youngevity International, Inc. (NASDAQ: YGYI).