Trends in Flavors 2021: Consumers Seek Comfort, Novelty, & Functionality

Trends in Flavors 2021: Consumers Seek Comfort, Novelty & Functional Health

Who will drive the flavor trends of 2021? Chefs? Food writers? Product designers? Flavorists? The answer is the consumer. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that the consumer is ultimately the arbiter of what flavors will be successfulwhat trends will become mainstays, and what trends will be short-livedThe impact of consumer preference and behavior is evident in the flavor trends we saw emerge in 2020 and the trends we see coming in this new year. 

Nostalgia with a Twist 

When looking at flavor trends, it’s important to consider how consumer habits have changed in the last year; there’s been a major shift in how much time we’ve spent cooking in our own kitchens versus dining out. It’s natural for people to gravitate towards flavors that are familiar to them – flavors from their childhood or from their favorite travel destination  and create an eating experience that evokes a sense of nostalgic comfort. That said, younger consumers have shown they’re not afraid to balance their comfort food with flavors that are new, exotic, or something they might experience in a foreign country.  

Food with a Function 

 In the wake of COVID 19, many consumers are seeking out natural, holistic ways to improve their health through nutraceutical benefits, particularly in terms of boosting immunity, finding relief from stress and anxiety, and improving quality of sleep and gut health. Consumers are researching CBD, adaptogens, probiotics, prebiotics and botanicals and are looking for products that not only provide benefits but also taste good. Most consumers would prefer to get their daily dose of functional ingredients in as few items as possible, as opposed to taking multiple pills a day.  

 Consumer demand for functional ingredients impacts a product’s flavor profile. Take, for example, products built to boost immunity – they will likely feature Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Ginger, Turmeric, or Ashwagandha. Because Vitamin C occurs naturally in citrus, it is relatively easy to pair with other flavors, whereas an ingredient like Ashwagandha has a very unique flavor profile in that it is earthy and bitter, but pairs well with the flavors of nuts, chocolate, and honey. 

Enthusiasm for Fermented Foods 

Today’s consumers are gravitating towards natural, healthy products that are processed without additives and preservatives. A food category that emerged in 2020 for their floral, tart, slightly sweet and robust flavors were naturally fermented products such as drinking vinegars, kombucha, and kimchi. Today, you can purchase products such as apple cider vinegar gummies, kombucha tea, and kimchi-flavored potato chips, and even kimchi-flavored sodas. Fermented products particularly resonate with younger consumers who have been exposed to international flavors and are not afraid of new tastes and textures.  

Tested, Tried, and True Flavors

There are some flavors that consumers can’t get enough of and that never seem to go out of style, like berry, citrus, apple, and mint. Most people have been consuming fruit products since they were young; hence, these flavors are familiar to us and we know what to expect from a product featuring that flavor. In the confectionary world, strawberry remains very popular with consumers world-wide. Today, we are also seeing more of these flavors combined with botanicals to give products an added level of complexity – for example, basil paired with strawberry, mint paired with cucumberor lavender paired with lemonIn line with consumers seeking functionality, botanicals offer their own health benefits. Basil is a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as Magnesium; mint offers antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties; and lavender has been used to treat insomnia and nausea. 

Up and Coming Fruit Flavors

There is no shortage of products on store shelves featuring citrus and berry, but there are some varieties to pay attention to this year, including Marionberry, Yuzu, Blood Orange, and Makrut Lime 

Marionberry: Marionberries are a variety of a blackberry grown mostly in Oregon; they are both sweet and tart with a rich, earthy flavor  similar to eating a raspberry and blackberry in the same bite. In terms of product development, products featuring marionberries are mostly found on the west coast, because the berry itself is too delicate to ship.  

Huckleberry: Huckleberries resemble blueberries but are smaller in size and have a dark purple skin when ripe. They are tarter and juicier than blueberries, which means their flavor packs a punch in food product or beverage. Huckleberries are not a domesticated fruit; they are mostly picked by foragers in the northwestwhich makes them somewhat harder for a product designer to access  

Yuzu: Haling from China and used widely in Japan, Yuzus are about the size as a tangerine. The rind is highly aromatic and sweet with floral notes, while the juice of the fruit is extremely sour and tart. Products on the market featuring yuzu are varied, from marinades to marmalades. 

Blood Orange:  A blood orange is slightly smaller than a navel orange with slightly thicker skin. What makes the blood orange unique (and subsequently products that feature its juice) is the deep red, maroon color of the interior flesh. Flavorwise, blood orange juice is a bit sweeter and less tangy than classic orange juice.  

Makrut LimeMakrut (aka kaffir) are in the lime family and derive from Southeast Asia; they are a staple of Thai cooking. Compared to a western lime, the texture of the rind is bumpy, and when ripe, it’s yellow as opposed to greenThe zest of the rind is often used in curry paste, and its leaves are added to dishes for fragrance. Makrut lime juice is quite bitter and sour, so it needs to be paired with other flavors that can stand up to it and balance it out.  

As consumers continue to feel the impact of COVID in 2021, product producers can anticipate that functional ingredients including CBD will be top of mind when people look for new health and wellness products to add into their daily routines. While it’s evident that consumers are seeking a balance in familiarity and novelty, data shows they are also highly focused on their health and well-being. When designing products for the consumer in 2021, companies need to focus on creating great-tasting products that feature functional ingredients that provide some nutritional or health benefits, from boosting immunity to improving quality of sleep. 

 If you have an idea for a product to bring to market in 2021 featuring functional ingredients, the team at SōRSE can help you create a flavor profile that will resonate with consumers.  

 

2020: A Year of Innovation & Expansion at SōRSE Technology

2020: A YEAR OF INNOVATION & EXPANSION FOR SORSE

2020 – what a year it has been! At the beginning of the year, the SōRSE team was busy working with our clients who were in the process of developing and launching products and preparing for live events. Then came March, and with it, Covid. Our work world changed, with many employees working remotely. Because SōRSE was deemed an essential business, emulsion production continued, as did the support of our clients. Instead of attending conventions and trade shows, we pivoted to hosting and attending virtual events and offering educational webinars to connect and engage with our partners and community.

 

2020 has been challenging for many reasons, but at SōRSE, there is much to celebrate – including over 1 billion unique views of the articles in which we’ve been featured. Here are some of the highlights from 2020.   

Mary Wagner and Allen Hsieh Join the Board of Directors 

In JanuaryMary Wagner and Allen Hsieh were appointed to the SōRSE Board of DirectorsMary Wagner is a recognized executive leader with a reputable career in the food industry, having created innovative products and developed measures to ensure food quality and safety. Allen Hsieh has over 25 years of experience in business and finance and has managed companies that have generated between $100 million and $500 million in revenue annually.   

OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder Shares the Story Behind Mad Tasty with Forbes 

In February, Forbes published an interview with Ryan Tedder in which he explains why he decided to start a CBD beverage company, how he discovered SōRSE, and how SōRSE provided the best possible solution for creating his successful beverage line, Mad Tasty 

SōRSE Featured in Bon Appetit’s “How to Find a CBD Product That Works” 

At SōRSE, one of our goals is to educate consumers on the benefits of products that utilize water-soluble emulsion technology. In March, we were able to share our knowledge on “How to Find a CBD Product That Works with Bon Appétit magazine. In the articlewe discuss important topics such as dosing, bioavailability, the differences between different types of CBD products, COAs, and how to figure out if a product is utilizing water-soluble technology. 

First Beverages in Canadian Marketplace Are Powered by SōRSE 

In AprilBenzinga broke the news that the first beverages to reach the Canada’s Cannabis 2.0 market had hit the shelves, and even better, they were powered by SōRSE! Our partner, The Valens Company, collaborated with A1 Cannabis Company to create Summit, a THC Citrus Water, and Basecamp, a CBD Iced Tea. We were proud to see our technology play a part in bringing these drinks to Canadian shelves.  

SōRSE Secures #61 on Fast Co’s Best Workplaces for Innovators List 

In the beginning of AugustSōRSE Technology was included in Fast Co’s Best Workplaces for Innovators list for 2020Nearly 900 companies applied to be recognized by Fast Companyand SōRSE earned position #61 while also being the only cannabis adjacent company included on the list. Fast Company is an influential, cutting-edge magazine focused on “the future of business” with over 16 million monthly unique visitors.  

SōRSE Partners with Pascal Biosciences on Cancer Research 

In SeptemberSōRSE announced that it was entering into a collaborative research agreement with Pascal Biosciences, advancing Pascal’s PAS-393 into clinical testing. Pascal and SōRSE would share their respective technologies to test the cannabinoid PAS-393 in human volunteers; this will enable testing of cancer patients treated with checkpoint inhibitors.  

Donna Wamsley Shares Her Insights on Flavor Trends with Forbes 

Donna Wamsley is not only our Director of Research and Analytics who works on emulsion innovationshe is also a trained flavorist, bringing a depth of knowledge on flavor and creating flavor profiles to her work. In October, Forbes published an interview with Donna in which she discusses her work at SōRSEthe process of becoming a flavorist, and flavor trends she sees emerging in 2021.   

SōRSE Hosts the First Annual SōRSE Summit 

To connect with our partners and share our knowledge with them, SōRSE hosted its first annual, virtual summit in October, featuring presentations for our 50+ clients on a variety of topics on the infused food and beverage marketTopics included: Trends in FlavorEmulsion Customization, Maturation of the Cannabis and CBD Marketplace, amongst many others. 

SōRSE Launches Clear CBD Emulsion 

Near the end of November, we announced the creation of SōRSE Clear, a stable, clear emulsion with a minimal sensory profile. The product made its official debut at our inaugural SōRSE Summit, which was a big win for our Science team and will be a game changer for our customers in the infused beverage space.  

SōRSE Expands into Latin America through Joint Venture with FCM Global 

In November, SōRSE ventured into the Latin American marketplace by announcing a joint venture with FCM Global, based in Medellin, Colombia, which produces organic hemp and cannabis oils. By entering this partnership with FCM, SōRSE is now  licensed to apply its technology to THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids in ColombiaThe emulsion will be branded as “SōRSE by FCM GLOBAL.” 

SōRSE and Pascal Validate and Optimize Cannabinoid Delivery for Cancer Treatment 

Three months after announcing the collaborative research agreementSōRSE and Pascal Biosciences shared the news that they will be moving forward with clinical trials of the cannabinoid PS-393 in 2021 for cancer patients treated with checkpoint inhibitors. This will mark the first pharmaceutical use of SōRSE’s formulation technology in concert with Pascal’s intellectual property.  

Emily Skrobecki Shares Her Experience Working at SōRSE During the Age of Covid with The Business Journals’ Bizwomen 

At the beginning of December, Bizwomen published an essay written by our Process Engineering Manager, Emily Skrobeckiin which she explained how she prioritizes aspects of her job and communicates with her team while working remotely. Emily’s piece illustrates how SōRSE employees are committed to contributing to the company’s success and can adjust the way they work to fit any difficult situation 

 

If you’re interested in learning more about SōRSE and its accomplishments this year, download our Annual Report that summarizes the myriad ways we’ve innovated and expanded our product offerings, services, and production in 2020. We’ve learned a lot from the challenges we faced in 2020 and look forward to the promise and hope that 2021 brings. 

Emerging CBD Product Categories for 2021

Emerging CBD Product Categories for 2021

For the past few years, there’s been an intense influx of CBD products coming onto the market – from pillows to makeup, from workout wear to toilet paper! It’s no surprise that this is happening, because product developers recognize that CBD is becoming more mainstream in the consumers’ eyes and its versatilityHaving a diverse range of products is driven by consumer demand – and product developers are finding creative ways to meet consumer needs 

The three product categories in the CBD space that we see growing rapidly are: On-The-Go Products, Pet Products, and Health and Wellness products. As product developers know, innovating new products and differentiating yourself from the competition isn’t easy. That said, with the right idea and the right strategic partners such as SōRSE, the process of developing a new product and going to market can be exciting and rewarding. This is especially true when you meet consumer needs that another company has yet to fulfill.  

 CATEGORY #1: ONTHEGO PRODUCTS 

Many of today’s consumers are looking for portable, convenient, and eco-friendly ways to get their CBD fix. Stick-packs, sachets and tea bags are a great delivery system for CBD because the formats are widely accepted by consumers already; plus, they are easily accessible and convenient, and they don’t take up a lot of space in a pantry. There are also benefits to creating these products for developers; first, their shelf lives are longer, which makes quality control easier to manage. Second, because onthego products are space-efficient, they are cheaper to ship, which is important in a time when most businesses are relying on ecommerce for their sales 

When it comes to adding CBD to an onthe-go product, particle size of the CBD matters. SõRSE recommends using agglomerated powder to our partners because it absorbs quickly and disperses evenly which means there is no clumping. All of this makes it easy for product developers to seamlessly integrate the powder into their formulations. In terms of flavor, the sensory impact of the agglomerated powder is minimal – because the bottom line is that products need to taste good for consumers to buy them and become a repeat customer 

CATEGORY #2: PET PRODUCTS  

According to a 2019-2020 survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, a staggering 67% percent of U.S. householdsabout 85 million familiesown a petA product that is becoming popular that animal lovers are buying for their companion animals – CBD. The pet CBD market alone is expected to grow by 54% from $64M in 2018 to $810M in 2024. Why are pet owners purchasing CBD products for their pets? Many are looking for a more natural alternative for their animal’s health issues, such as anxiety, pain and stiffness, seizures, and poor appetite. Most CBD pet products are oil-based and come in the following formats – tinctures, powders, and gels but CBD is also finding its way into treats, powders that can be mixed into food and broths/liquids that can be poured over kibble.  

 For the product developer looking to create a product that will yield lots of wags and purrs, SõRSE is a water-soluble technology that animal enthusiasts can trust. Our emulsions offer increased bioavailability for fastacting onset and consistent effect, ensure accurate dosing, utilize safe and all-natural ingredients, and are allergen-free. It’s also important to know that pet products utilizing water-soluble CBD or hemp are easier for pets to digest than oil-based products because of the way the digestive systems process fats. If product developers want all the animals out there to reap the benefits hemp has to offer, choosing a water-soluble emulsion is the way to go.  

CATEGORY #3: HEALTH AND WELLNESS PRODUCTS 

This year, people have become more focused on their health and well-beingThis is certainly reflected in purchasing trends; since March, consumers have been investing in home workout equipment, and stocking up on vitamins and supplements. What else have consumers been purchasing? CBD. In 2019, the global CBD consumer health market size was valued at $20.3B and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.6% from 2020 to 2027. This growth is driven by consumer demand and awareness surrounding perceived health benefits of CBD as well as a desire for products with healthier, sustainable ingredients and functional ingredients. Consumers are increasingly searching out products that are plant-derived, non-GMO, all-natural, and organic, as well as ones that are convenient and enjoyable to consume. 

Health and wellness products featuring CBD that are on the rise for the coming year are: Functional beverages in the form of wellness shots and performance-enhancing drinks; Cosmetics in the form of skincare and hair products; Nutraceuticals in the form of capsules, soft gels and supplements; and oral care in the form of mouthwash and toothpastes. It’s important to note for product developers that the FDA regulates CBD in cosmetics differently than it does in food and beverages items. When it comes to adding CBD to health and wellness products, the possibilities are endless; the key is predicting what product the consumer wants most.  

SōRSE – Your Strategic Partner for Your Next Great Product 

When it comes to developing CBD emulsions for productsSõRSE takes a clean label approach, which means that the emulsions attributes meet the demands of the health and ​wellness sector.  The emulsions are made with safe, natural ingredients with no additives included such as sugar or masking agents. Consumer safety is SõRSE highest priority, which is why we put an emphasis on quality testing and quality assurance and transparency with our partnersWe collaborate with product developers through each phase of the process – from ideation to formulation to go-to-market, providing operations support and connections to our network of vetted co-packers and other manufacturing partners. Come to the SõRSE with your idea, and let’s work together to move the industry forward with more infused products in 2021.  

 

Election 2020 – Cannabis Emerges a Big Winner, Signaling an End to the War on Drugs 

Election 2020 – Cannabis Emerges a Big Winner, Signaling an End to the War on Drugs

On November 3rd, the US experienced an historic US election by all accounts – a record number of Americans voted, both in person and by absentee ballot. We voted for government leadership, state leadership, and on state and local initiatives. What emerged a big winner in different parts of the country? Cannabis. Five states had cannabis initiatives on their ballots – Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota – the most in any election cycle, and all of them passed. Cannabis is now legal for medical use in 36 states and adult recreational use in 15 states. After the election, New Frontier Data projected that with these five states entering and increasing the marketplace, the regulated U.S. cannabis market will hit $38.3 billion by 2025. Here’s a state-by-state rundown of the legislation that was proposed and passed.  

Arizona 

  • Legal Recreational Adult Use 
  • Legal Medicinal Use 

Adult recreational use of cannabis will be legal in Arizona, as a majority of voters approved Prop 207. This proposition allows adults 21 and older to possess, consume or transfer up to one ounce of cannabis and create a regulatory system for the cannabis cultivation and sale. Arizona’s Department of Health Services will be tasked with licensing and regulating all cannabis businesses, from growers to retailers. A 16% excise tax will be levied on sales. The money generated from licensing and renewal fees, application fees, civil penalties, excise taxes and penalties related to selling and testing cannabis will be deposited in the smart and safe Arizona fund. Monies in this fund will first be used to pay for the costs of implementing, administering and enforcing the measure. If monies remain in the fund after getting the measure off the ground, they would be distributed to community college districts and provisional community colleges, municipal police and fire departments, fire districts and county sheriffs’ departments, the Arizona highway user revenue fund and various “justice reinvestment programs.” Another important aspect of the proposition is that people with cannabis-related criminal records can petition to have the charges expunged.  

Mississippi  

  • Legal Medicinal Use 

Mississippi voters were asked to weigh in Ballot Measure 1, featuring two versions of an amendment regarding the use of medicinal cannabis. Voters could approve Initiative 65 or Initiative 65A or vote against both. Initiative 65, which was approved by an overwhelming 73% of voters, will allow physicians to recommend medical cannabis for patients with any of 22 qualifying conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Patients will be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis per two-week period. The constitutional amendment will establish a regulatory program overseen by the Mississippi Department of Health for businesses to grow and sell medical cannabis and for the products to be taxed at a 7% rate. Regulations for the program must be developed by July 1, 2021, and medical cannabis patient cards must be issued by August 15, 2021. Initiative 65A would have limited the smoking of medical cannabis to people who are terminally ill and would have left the regulatory framework up to the Legislature. This initiative did not pass  

Montana 

  • Legal Adult Recreational Use 
  • Legal Medicinal Use 

Montana voters had two cannabis initiatives on their ballots to consider this fall, and both were approved. Prior to the vote in October, Montana State University released results of a poll on Montanans’ stance on cannabis; among active and likely voters, 49% supported legalization and 39% opposed it. The first initiative was Initiative 118, which amends the state’s constitution to establish 21 as the legal age to purchase, possess, and consume cannabis. The secondInitiative 190, allows adults in the state to possess and buy cannabis for recreational use. The state Department of Revenue will oversee the set up and regulation of a commercial system for growing and selling cannabis and will impose a 20% tax on sales. Half of the revenue generated from sales will go toward environmental conservation programs, and the remaining revenue toward veteran services, drug treatment, health care and local governments, and the general fund. It would also allow people convicted of past cannabis-related crimes to apply for regu or records expungement. Opponents of the law have filed a lawsuit to have the legalization vote overturned on the grounds that the initiative is unconstitutional.   

New Jersey 

  • Legal Adult Recreational Use 
  • Legal Medicinal Use 

New Jersey voters approved Public Question #1 on their ballots, which asked: “Do you approve amending the Constitution to legalize a controlled form of marijuana called ‘cannabis’?” This amends the state constitution to legalize cannabis for personal, non-medical use by adults 21 and older. The Cannabis Regulatory Commission that oversees the medical market will also regulate the personal market, including production and sales.  This week, a New Jersey Senate and Assembly committee approved identical bills to implement marijuana regulations following approval of Public Question #1. Members of the Senate panel also merged two bills to decriminalize cannabis in the short term, which also passed. The state Attorney General is also being called on to issue a directive to end prosecutions for low-level marijuana offenses.  

South Dakota 

  • Legal Adult Recreational Use 
  • Legal Medicinal Use 

South Dakota voters had two cannabis decisregulations to make – one on medical use and one on recreational use – and both passed. Measure 26 establishes a medical cannabis program and registration system for people with qualifying chronic, debilitating conditions and diseases such as severe pain, nausea, and seizures. Patients will be allowed to purchase and possess up to three ounces of cannabis from a licensed dispensary.  Amendment A legalizes the possession, transportation, and distribution up to one ounce of cannabis for all adults over 21 years old and require state legislators to adopt medical cannabis and hemp laws by April 1, 2022. Voter-approved cannabis will become law on July 1, 2021.  

2021 and Beyond 

 The support for cannabis legislation that voters have shown in this election cycle bodes well for other states legalizing medicinal and/or recreational use in the next few years. New York had the legalization of cannabis in its sights earlier this year, but once COVID struck, state lawmakers moved that conversation to the backburner to respond to health crisis and the subsequent economic falloutNow that New Jersey has approved recreational cannabis use, it seems highly likely that New York legislators will take up the topic of legalization in 2021knowing the revenue that can be generated with cannabis sales. This winter, New Mexico legislators will reconsider decriminalizing cannabis for recreational use. Earlier this year, a bill backed by State Representative Javier Martinez died in their Senate Judiciary committee. Martinez believes that legalization and regulation of cannabis not only presents a huge opportunity for job creation and revenue generation, but it would also reduce harm that criminalization brings to its youth and people of color. Support for legalization is also building in Texas; State Representative from San Antonio, Roland Gutierrez, is proposing a legalization bill. He believes that cannabis could create upwards of 30,000 new jobs and bring in over $3 billion in revenue. 

According to the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of the American public support federal legalization of cannabis – and the most recent approval of these state initiatives and ballot measures further validates this wave of public support and approval of cannabis. When it comes to how cannabis use is perceived by the public, there is no denying that the tide has turned in this country. State by state, the green wave continues to roll across the country – it just seems to be a matter of time before federal legalization becomes a reality.  

SōRSE Employee Spotlight: Tyler Peterson

Meet our Chief Operations Officer, Tyler Peterson, who has been with the company since 2016. Over the past four years, Tyler has touched every aspect of our business, from setting up production to developing new products and bringing them to market, as well as working at trade shows. You name it; he’s done it! Tyler draws on many of the professional experiences he has had in the past in his current role at SoRSE; he’s a hands-on manager who builds strong relationships with his employees and clients.  

Tyler Peterson

 How did you end up working at SōRSE? What was the first year like? 

Prior to 2016, I had worked with Howard at two other startups. When Howard was presented with the opportunity to take the reins of SōRSE (then Tarukino/ Tribe Processor), he invited me to come along with him to manage Operations. The first year was about figuring out our direction, the technology we were using, and the beverages we were going to produce. From these ideas, we started fundraising to help prop us up. We acquired the emulsion technology and started running with it. The first year was crazy because we went from a virtually empty building with three people and ended the year with 20 employees, products on the market, and with the evolution of the technology well on its way.  

How much did you know about this space prior to coming on board? 

I knew quite a bit about Operations, but not so much about the cannabis industry. Prior to working at the startups with Howard, I was Head of Operations at a materials handling company. I came into SōRSE well versed in inventory, client services, sales, and everything else required to manage a company. The cannabis industry is considerably different in terms of rules and regulations, not to mention how heavily taxed it is. Because of that, there have been more failures than successes across the industry – it’s not necessarily easy to stay in business and make a profit.  

 What do you enjoy about the role of COO at SōRSE and what’s been challenging? 

I am a very hands-on person, and I love figuring out problems. What I need to remember to do in this role is take a step back and trust my employees to figure out the answers to problems while I oversee them and make sure they are making the right decisions. I have to let go of my desire to do what one of my employees can do, which means that I can focus my attention elsewhere. Operations is driving the company to the future – expanding into other states, creating new emulsions, working with large customers. All of this is exciting, but they are high pressure/high risk situations. Operations drives income and profitability, not just in one avenue but in multiple avenues. Our flexibility and determination is what keeps us moving forward.   

Can you share some highlights from the past four years? 

When I look back at where we came from, I’m pretty proud of what we’ve accomplished – like our first approval of products from the Liquor/Cannabis Control Board in Washington. Little things like that are big wins. The success of MAJOR is huge – its growth from month to month has been a highlight. I love hearing that customers love our products; it means we have created an emulsion that has changed people’s lives – not just consumers, but the retailers who are becoming more profitable and successful because of what we offer. Making a company profitable is also a big win. All that said, what I am most proud of is the team around me. People at SōRSE know what needs to get done and never question how to get stuff knocked out.   

Can you share something that a lot of people don’t know about you? 

I love show tunes, and I have inspired more than one person to overcome a fear or physical hesitation by breaking into song. I was in every play and every summer musical during high school. I am not necessarily the best singer, but I love it. 

Terpenes: What They Are and Why They Are Important

Terpenes: What They Are and Why They Are Important

There is no doubt that cannabis has a very distinct taste and smell. Most people can identify it as soon as they smell it – but if they have never ingested a CBD drink or edible, they might wonder about the flavor it can impart. When it comes to describing cannabis’ smell and taste, a few of the words we often hear are earthy, skunky, herbaceous, citrusy or piney. It’s important to note that each strain has its own unique sensory qualities, much like a Gravenstein apple tastes and smells different than a Fuji. What gives cannabis and other plants these qualities that humans react to when they smell or taste them? Terpenes!

Terpenes: What They Are and What They Do

In the cannabis plant, terpenes are fragrant oils that are produced and secreted from the same glands that produce cannabinoids, which are called trichomes. Terpenes are the molecules that give the plant its odor and flavor and increase the cannabinoids’ efficacy. As is true with other plants, the qualities that terpenes bring to cannabis are impacted by soil composition, climate, and myriad other factors. Terpenes can help the plant repel insects and other predators, as well as attracting pollinators like bees. They also have antioxidant effects. Scientists have identified over 200 terpenes in the cannabis plant, and each strain has its own unique blend of terpenes.

Terpenes also have therapeutic qualities; they can play a role in a plant’s medicinal effects because of the way they interact with cannabinoids and help them enter the bloodstream. Scientists have found that when terpenes and cannabinoids work synergistically, their effectiveness in treating pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, and infection is enhanced. Interestingly, Terpenes are the basis of aromatherapy, a healing treatment that utilizes a plant’s essential oils to promote physical and emotional well-being.

Common Terpenes and Their Qualities

Beta-caryophyllene can be found in black pepper, oregano, cloves and cinnamon and can be described as peppery. It is the only terpene that can act as a cannabinoid and interact directly with our endocannabinoid system and is reported to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Limonene can be found in citrus fruit rinds, rosemary and peppermint. It is reported to provide stress relief. Research has shown Limonene’s potential for stress relief, fighting fungus and bacteria, and relieving heartburn.

Linalool can be found in lavender and birch bark and can be described as floral. It is reported to promote calm and relaxation. It’s also known for its antimicrobial properties and its ability to help the immune system fight stress.

Myrcene, one of the most common of the cannabis terpenes, can be found in hops, mango, and lemongrass and can be described as floral or herbal.  It is reported to impart calming qualities and relax muscles. One of its most important qualities is that increases a cell membrane’s permeability, which allows for a larger uptake of cannabinoids and therefore stronger effects.

Pinene, another very common terpene in the plant world, can be found in basil, dill, rosemary and pine needles. The scent and flavor be described as foresty or piney. Because it is a bronchodilator, it can improve airflow to the lungs. It is reported to provide relief for pain and inflammation and aid in memory retention.

Terpinolene can be found in apples, lilac, tea tree, nutmeg and cumin and can be described as fruity. It is reported to have uplifting effects and can help fight off mosquitos. Terpinolene is a common ingredient in cleaning products because of its fresh scent and antibacterial qualities.

ECS and The Entourage Effect

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) which is present in all humans and animals is responsible for building and sustaining health. Its primary role is to maintain and balance all of the other bodily systems such as the central nervous system, reproductive system, and immune system.  The ECS is made up of receptors throughout the body and in the brain, which help maintain balance in reaction to change. The ECS is crucial when it comes to regulating a broad range of physiological processes that affect us, such as our mood, energy level, and immunity, as well as how we experience stress, pain, and more. Research studies have linked the ECS to the following processes: Appetite/digestion, metabolism, chronic pain, inflammation, mood, learning/memory, motor control, and skin/nerve function, to name a few. After being thrown into imbalance by physical, environmental or emotional stressors, the combination of cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and terpenes can bring the body back into balance.

Cannabis researchers S. Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam introduced the term “Entourage Effect” to explain the process of biological synergy between cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes. It represents the idea that “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” meaning that the effects created when the three work together are stronger than each would achieve alone. A paper by Ethan Russo titled “Taming THC” in the British Journal of Pharmacology reported evidence that taking cannabinoids and terpenes together may be beneficial for treating conditions like pain, anxiety, inflammation, epilepsy, infection and cancer. What this means, in layman’s terms, is that the combination of cannabinoids like CBD with terpenes can bring a body back into balance through its work with the ECS.

If you are exploring the idea of creating a CBD beverage or edible or perhaps reformulating a recipe you already have in the works, it’s important to consider the differences between extractions, particularly CBD Isolate and Broad Spectrum. Isolates are CBD in their purest form; they are 99% CBD and impart very little in the way of flavor or odor. Broad Spectrum retains a large complement of plant material without the THC, which allows for the Entourage Effect to occur. Hemp, which contains less than .3% THC, forms the basis for most Broad Spectrum extracts. Broad Spectrum can also be created by either adding terpenes, flavonoids, and minor cannabinoids to CBD isolate or by removing THC from Full Spectrum extract via distillation. If you want to create a product that is free from any plant smell or flavor, Isolate is your best bet. If you want to give your customers the benefit of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids working together and imparting flavor and smells that can complement the other flavors, then Broad Spectrum is a great choice.

The team here at SōRSE is well-versed in working with cannabinoids and terpenes alike and are always willing to help you create the perfect sensory profile for your product. Book an exploratory call today!

5 Steps for Taking Your CBD Edible from Concept to Commercialization

5 Steps for Taking Your CBD Edible from Concept to Commercialization

In the past few years, consumers’ curiosity and interest in CBD has grown at a rapid rate, and a result of that is an influx of food items and beverages infused with the cannabinoid. From marshmallows to protein bites, from fruit-flavored gummies to popcorn, the array of sweet and savory edible CBD products on the market is ever-expanding. For consumers who are curious about incorporating CBD into their daily routine but don’t love the idea of ingesting a tincture, CBD edibles offer a great alternative. 

If you have a great idea for an edible and are wondering how to turn it into a viable product that will land in the hands of the consumer, here are 5 Steps to Building an Infused CBD Edible from the producers themselves.  

1. GENERATE A CULINARY CONCEPT 

Mainstream vs Unique Concept 

The first thing that you need to know when building a successful infused edible is that a simple, mainstream concept will be easier to execute than a unique concept that is not on the market. That said, if you are determined to create a product that no one has seen before, try to find its mainstream, CBD-free equivalent so that you can understand what it will take to execute production. The process of taking an edible from concept to commercialization typically takes nine to twelve months, so thinking through your timeline from start to finish and being realistic when setting expectations is extremely important. 

Needs & Challenges 

In the early stages of planning, it’s also advisable to identify your needs and potential challenges. Aside from having a great concept, you’ll need ingredients, including CBD; production equipment (like forms or molds); a production facility; packaging; and marketing materials. If you have never created an edible before, some of the challenges you might foresee could include: A key ingredient not being available; a piece of equipment being expensive to purchase; figuring out how your packaging will impact shelf life; or working with a co-manufacturer. 

What’s Important? 

Any product will be more successful when you are excited about the idea and believe the item will add value to a consumer’s life. Your product should reflect what is important to you — clean label, flavor profile, quality of ingredients — and what you can bring to the marketplace. Think about what your niche is, and how you are going to differentiate your product while reaching as many consumers as you can.  

2. PINPOINT YOUR TARGET CONSUMER

When developing your culinary concept, you will need to identify your audience — who is going to buy your edible, why they want to buy it, and where they will buy it. The profile you create of your target consumer should be as specific as possible. You should be able to picture what that person is like in your head, from what they do for fun to the clothes they wear. 

To develop an infused edible that will bring your customer back time and again, you have to do a lot of research on consumer behavior to find out what the buyer is looking for in a company and in a product. You’ll need to consider what the consumer will find appealing about your product, what they might be doing when they are eating your edible, and who they might be with. The better you understand what your consumer wants and needs, and how the product will fit into their lives, the more successful you will be. 3.

3. DETERMINE IF YOUR PRODUCT IS GOING TO BE SWEET OR SAVORY, AND WHAT FORMAT IT WILL COME IN

When it comes to edibles, there are a variety of options on the market. In the “Sweet” category, we have gummies, chocolate bars, energy bars and cookies, to name a few. In the “Savory” category, you can find crackers, jerky, chips, amongst others. As you think about where your product will fit in, you need to continue circling back to these key questions – What does my consumer want? Are they looking for a discrete consumption method? How much do they care about the sensory experience? Is this something they will eat on-the-go or in the comfort of their home? How much does the consumer care about a product’s visual appeal? 

When thinking about where your product will fit in in the marketplace, examine other items your consumer might purchase and what the packaging looks like. Packaging and labeling is the first level of engagement a customer has with your product, so visual appeal is key. Is your consumer drawn to natural products? Do they avoid plastic packaging because they are concerned about the environmental impact? Do they like to be able to see the product through the packaging? Your label and packaging should reflect your company’s culture and values and what makes your product unique.  

4. EXPERIMENT WITH FLAVORS AND CHOOSE THE DOSING

The next step is to create your formula, including its flavor profile and CBD dosing. Some of the current trends in the consumer marketplace are: Global flavors like espresso, tropical fruit, and coconut; natural ingredients; earthy flavors like mushroom; sugar alternatives such as agave, maple syrup, honey, and stevia; herbs and spices; and tart and sour tastes. 

When considering your product’s flavor, you also need to think about how the flavor of the CBD will work with the other ingredients, especially if your product is in a small format like a tablet or gummy. An isolate would be a good choice if you want an edible with a clean, specific flavor profile. If your consumer appreciates botanical, herbaceous products, a Broad Spectrum CBD might play well with the other flavors. Some consumers specifically seek out Broad Spectrum products because of the terpenes (aromas and flavors) that accompany the CBD.   

Currently, there are a wide range of CBD dosages in the products available. Here are some of the average dosages currently on the market:   

  • Gummy: 10-25mg 
  • Mint/tablet: 5mg 
  • Chocolate bar (1.7oz-2.11oz): 80-200mg 
  • Cracker or pretzel: 2mg 

 To determine dosage, consider when the consumer will be eating your product, identify the desired effect you want the consumer to have after eating the product, and also think about how many pieces they might be inclined to ingest. For example, some people can eat a whole chocolate bar in one sitting, while others might only want a portion of the bar.  

When adding active cannabinoids to your product, you will also need to know what parts of the process create waste or evaporation, because both need to be factored into dosing. When you’re doing trial batches of your product, you may need to initially overdose the recipe/formula to achieve an accurate final dose.

5. PREPARE FOR SCALE-UP: CHOOSE YOUR CBD SUPPLIER & PRODUCT MANUFACTURER

Once you’ve tested your formula, determined dosing, and chosen packaging, it’s time to prepare for scaling up and production. The key to a successful scaling up is identifying and securing your strategic partners in this process, such as your suppliers and a manufacturer. 

Consumer safety should be your #1 concern when making an infused edible, To ensure the highest quality CBD for your product, make sure the CBD supplier that you work with shares documentation like a Certificate of Analysis, Product Data Sheets and Safety Data Sheets. For more information on what to look for when choosing a CBD supplier, please reference Section 4 of our blog entry, “5 Things You Need to Know to Create an Infused CBD Beverage.” 

Next, find a co-manufacturer who understands CBD as an ingredient and has experience producing other CBD edibles will know how to work with it. Being able to do batch testing is critical because it will let you adjust your formula if you need to. It’s also worth noting that the scale-up process may take a few runs over a few months’ time, as at that stage, there can be changes in the equipment that can affect the product. Ideally your producer will allow you to be on-site for the first few runs so that you can feel confident in the process of how your edible is being produced. 

If you want to sell to an audience in a specific state and there is a manufacturing center in that state, you’ll save a lot of money by producing it as close as possible to your target market area. Also, if there is a facility producing a product similar to yours and it’s considered a turnkey process for them, you will be more successful commercializing your product because they already have experience making something similar.   

The journey you will take bringing a CBD-infused edible to market will be an exciting one – especially if you really believe in your concept; just know that the process will require planning, patience, flexibility, out-of-the-box thinking, problem-solving and collaboration. As you try to get your product to market, you might be thrown some curveballs along the way, but if you work with a CBD supplier and co-manufacturer who has experience working with cannabinoids, they will be able to partner with you throughout the process. 

At SōRSE, our R&D team of 30+ employees is well-versed in edible production from concept to final product and welcomes the opportunity to help bring your dream to life and your product to market. Schedule an exploratory call today with SōRSE to get started on your infused CBD edibles journey! 

10 Ways to Get Powered by SōRSE This Summer 

rip n sip powered by sorse

June 20th marked an important moment on our calendar – Summer has officially begun! That means the days are longer, the temperatures are rising, and we can spend more time outside doing the things we love – like taking a trip to the beach, hitting the trails, and firing up the grill. Here are some ideas for incorporating CBD into those activities and more! 

XO Marshmallows powered by sorse1. Building a bonfire? Treat yourself to S’mores powered by XO Marshamllows! 

Once the sun has gone down, a great way to end a long summer day is sitting by a bonfire on the beach or firepit in the backyard. Make sure you have all the fixings for S’mores — graham crackers, dark chocolate bars, XO Strawberry hemp marshmallows that feature 10mg CBD per cube, and skewersStrawberry and chocolate are a match made in heaven – and no one can resist a S’more, sticky fingers and all! 

mad tasty powered by sorse2. Taking a trip to the beach? Don’t forget your Mad Tasty! 

A trip to the beach is a summer must activity. As you’re getting ready for your beach day,  make sure to pack some cans of Mad Tasty in your cooler! Mad Tasty comes in three different flavor profiles — Watermelon Kiwi, Grapefruit, and the newly released, highly mysterious Unicorn Tears – and all three are refreshing and thirst-quenching. Each can contains 20mg of CBD and will leave you feelin chill. And for every 12 ounces of Mad Tasty sold, the company donates 12 ounces of clean drinking water to people and places in need through their work with Drop4Drop – so you can feel good about that too! 

rip n sip powered by sorse3. Having cocktails/mocktails on the patio? Enhance them with Rip N Sip. 

It’s 5 PM –– time to head out to the patio and celebrate the end of the day with a beverage! An easy way to add CBD to a Lemonade, MargaritaGin and Tonic, or pretty much whatever is in your refrigerator is by opening a packet of Rip N Sip and pouring it into your beverage. Each 3 ml packet contains 20 mg of flavorless liquid CBD which disperses rapidly. It doesn’t get any easier than that to make your own CBD-infused drink!

Centr powered by sorse4. Hitting the trails for a hike? Bring some cans of CENTR in your daypack! 

After a long week of work, one of the best ways to spend a summer weekend is in the mountains hiking and communing with nature. When you’re packing  for your excursion, don’t forget your water bottle, sunscreen, first aid kit (just in case)trail mix, and a few cans of CENTR, a sparkling CBD beverage. CENTR offers two dosing options – 15mg and 30mg; the gently sweetened, light citrus flavor profile is perfect for warm weather outings and will give you the oomph you need when you’re feeling a little tired at mile five 

revyv powered by sorse5. Just finished a workout? Recover with REVYV. 

The better the weather gets, the more we all want to be outside getting some exercise, be it walking, running, golfing or swimming. After your workout, don’t forget to stretch well and drink a REVYV, a wellness drink for active people. On the flavor front, there will be two options to choose from – Peach Mango and Aćai Berry. A 14 oz bottle of REVYV contains 15mg CBD, electrolytes (key for rehydration and recovery), terpenes, and Ashwagandha, an adaptogen that can boost brain function and lower blood sugar levels.  

Aprch powered by sorse6. Got a camping trip planned? Don’t forget to pack the APRCH. 

Camping is a great summer activity for many reasonsIt gets us out of the house where we can  unplug,  relax, and get in tune with nature. As far as camping beverages go, APRCH is the perfect drink to have in the coolerThis zero-calorie sparkling CBD water comes in three flavors: Lemon Lime, Watermelon, and Mint + Cucumber – with no added sugar. Each 12 oz can contains 30mg of CBDL-Theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation; Vitamin C; and organic natural flavors. Crack open a can as you’re making dinner on your camp stove, or when your settling into your sleeping bag for a good night’s rest. 

Kleer powered by sorse7. Looking for an alternative to tap water on a sweltering day? Stay hydrated with Kleer. 

On those days where the thermometer reads 90 and it feels even hotter, it’s important to drink at half a gallon (equivalent to 8 8oz glasses) of water a day to stay hydrated. Why not make some of those ounces Kleer sparkling CBD water? If you loved POG as a kid, there’s a Passion Orange Guava option, as well as Berry Blast and Cucumber Lime. Kleer’s sugar-free sparkling waters offer 25mg CBD and 100% natural flavors per 12 oz can. When the heat is getting you down, grab a Kleer to provide some relief. 

CANN powered by sorse8. Not sure what to bring to your friends’ BBQ? CANN is the answer! 

If you’re invited to a friend’s BBQ this summer and wondering what to bring, CANN social tonic is a great alcohol-free option! Each can of CANN is infused with 4mg CBD and 2mg THC, lightly sweetened with agave nectar, and flavored with pure fruit juice. There are three flavor options, each one equally tasty — Lemon Lavender, Blood Orange, and Grapefruit Rosemary; all pair well with chips, dips, salads, and food hot off the grill. 

9. Hosting 4th of July BBQ (socially distanced, of course!)? Whip up some sauces infused with CBD.  

If you are having family or friends over for the 4th but have no idea what to make, here are some links to Chef Stacy’s recipes that are perfect for an Independence Day celebration (and any occasion really!). These recipes are quick and easy and will have your guests saying, “There’s CBD in there?! I couldn’t even tell!” 

10. Want to try some of the products mentioned above? Enter SōRSE’s Summer Giveaway on Instagram! 

Each month, we’ll be hosting a giveaway with products Powered by SōRSE that will make your summer, A BETTER SUMMER. Follow our Instagram account to learn how you can enter our giveaway.  

What You Need to Know About CBD

What you need to know about cbd sorse technology

From tinctures to gummies, sparkling water and bath bombs, consumers can find CBD in many forms. Despite CBD’s presence, many people still don’t know exactly what it is, where it comes from, and what it is used for.

 

CBD stands for Cannabidiol, one of the many cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant. In the last five years, its popularity with consumers has skyrocketed due to its purported health benefits. Today, more than 3 in 5 adults in the United States believe that CBD has valid medical uses, according to new research from New Frontier Data.

 

The cannabis plant is an ancient one — it can be traced as far back as 4000 BC to Pan-p’o Village in China. From 1200-200BC, cannabis was used medicinally by Egyptians, Assyrians, Greeks, and Romans, and from 1400-1000 AD, Arabic scholars declared cannabis an effective treatment for Epilepsy. Fast forward to the 17th century when American colonists were growing hemp for the British empire, and to the 19th century when Napoleon brought cannabis to France from Egypt for medicinal treatments. Until the early 1900’s in the US, you could purchase cannabis for medicinal purposes at apothecaries and pharmacies.

 

In the 20th century, scientists began studying the plant more closely to better understand its therapeutic effects. The first cannabinoid to be discovered in 1940 was Cannabinol (CBN), by British chemist Robert Cahn. Almost two years later, American chemist Roger Adams to successfully isolate Cannabidiol – CBD – which led to the discovery of Tetrahdydrocannabinol – THC. In 1963, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, known as the godfather of cannabis research, was able to identify the stereochemistry of both CBD and THC, differentiating their characteristics and qualities. The work of these scientists opened the door to the research that is being done today on cannabinoids and development of applications for them.

 

When you are trying a CBD product for the first time, it’s good to know not only what the cannabinoid is, but that scientists and researchers are invested in better understanding its effects on the human body and mind.

 

If you’re new to CBD, here are some frequently asked questions on CBD and its effects:

What’s the difference between Hemp and Marijuana/Cannabis?

Botanically, Hemp and Cannabis/Marijuana are from the same species of plant, Cannabis Sativa L.  They do share similarities, but because of each plant’s biological structure and chemistry, they have several distinct differences that are important to understand.

 

Hemp and industrial hemp refer to the strain of cannabis plant that is grown for agricultural purposes such as oils, food and beverage, body care, paper products, and textiles. Hemp is a plant that can grow as tall as 20 ft. and thrives in many climates. According to the 2018 US Farm Bill, hemp cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC. Any hemp plant that contains more than 0.3 percent THC would be considered non-hemp cannabis under federal law and would thus face no legal protection under this legislation.

 

Cannabis, or marijuana, plants are generally shorter than hemp and have more of bush-like appearance. Cultivators carefully monitor the plant’s growth, because cross-pollination can change the THC content. Cannabis grows best in warm, humid areas causing many growers to utilize greenhouses. A cannabis plant will flower, and it is in the flowers that the THC resides. Typically, a cannabis plant contains 15-20% THC content, but some strains contain less.

What are Cannabinoids, and Where Can You Find Them In the Plant?

Cannabinoids are sticky, oily substances that are excreted from resin-producing glands of the cannabis plant known as trichomes. There are more than 100 cannabis-derived ‘cannabinoids’ that can be placed into categories, all stemming from derivatives of cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). CBD and THC are the two cannabinoids people are most familiar with. When consumed, cannabinoids attach to receptors in our brain (CB-1) and in our body (CB-2).

What are Terpenes, and Why Are They Important?

Every plant, including cannabis, has its own unique mix of terpenes. Terpenes (or terpenoids) are a large class of plant secondary products that protect the plant from insects and herbivores. Terpenes are what gives a lime its citrusy smell, or a flower like lavender its unique aroma.

 

The cannabis plant has over 100 terpenes in it; the most well-known ones include Myrcene, Pinene, Terpinolene, Linalool, and Limonene. Like cannabinoids, they are also secreted by the plant’s trichomes. Terpenes are important for two reasons: one, because the protect the plant from predators, and two, because they produce different physiological reactions and therapeutic effects for the person consuming them. For example, Linalool, which is a component of Lavender, is said to have calming and soothing qualities. Pinene, another terpene found in Orange peel, Sage, and Parsley, is said to improve alertness and energy and fight inflammation.

What Is the Entourage Effect?

This term describes the way in which cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in a cannabis plant interact with each other and the human body to be more effective than any one of those chemical components acting alone, creating a synergistic effect. The Entourage Effect helps maximize the therapeutic effects of CBD by improving efficacy and tolerability.

 

A consumer looking for a product that offers the Entourage Effect should consider a Full Spectrum CBD or Broad Spectrum CBD. Full Spectrum describes extracts that attempt to preserve the maximum number of native phytochemicals, cannabinoids, terpenes, and other volatiles retained during extraction, including THC.  Broad Spectrum describes extractions which aim to retain a large complement of cannabinoids and terpenes, but without the THC. Hemp forms the basis for most Broad Spectrum extracts and reflect the legal definition of the federal U.S. Government. Broad Spectrum can also be created by combining either terpenes, flavonoids, and minor cannabinoids to form custom Broad Spectrum blends, or by removing THC from Full Spectrum extract via fractional distillation. 

How Are the Cannabinoids and Terpenes Extracted From the Plant?

The initial extract from the dry hemp or cannabis plant material is a crude oil includes that includes all the active ingredients of cannabis, namely the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, as well as the oil-soluble fats and chlorophyll. After that, the crude oil is purified by a number of methods depending on the producer’s preference and safety considerations to remove harmful contaminants.

 

In one method, a solvent is added to dissolve the cannabinoids, then evaporated, leaving a concentrated oil. Solvents, which are chemicals that dissolve solid materials into liquids, can be further divided by polarity.

Non-polar solvents like butane dissolve only non-polar compounds from the plant, in this case the oils and other lipids making up the trichome heads.

Polar solvents like ethanol will extract both non-polar and polar compounds, including water-soluble compounds such as chlorophyll. Many polar compounds are desirable from a therapeutic standpoint, and they bring with them strong, herbaceous flavors.

 

Another method is mechanical, or non-solvent extraction. Using temperature or pressure changes, cannabinoid oils can be separated without the use of a solvent. Distillation uses the variability in boiling points of a plant’s constituent chemicals to yield very pure extracts. Solvent-extracted concentrates are evaporated and then condensed at precise temperatures. The resulting product typically tests at 85%-97% purity.

What Are the Challenges of Developing a Product Featuring CBD, and What is the Solution? 

As we all learned in Science class, oil and water don’t play well together. When you try to mix them, the oil will rise to the top, since it is lighter than water. Because a CBD extraction is an oil, it can be challenging for a beverage or edibles producer to work with for a variety of reasons beyond the separation factor. There is also the sensory experience, dosage control, reliable and repeatable onset and duration, manufacturing, and labeling to take into consideration. A detailed exploration of cannabis-infused products, including challenges and new technologies defining the manufacturing process, market performance by product types, and consumer profiles are detailed in our ‘Cannabis-Infused Products Report Series’, created in partnership with New Frontier Data.

 

Converting CBD extracts into a water-soluble platform such as SōRSE allows for the cannabinoids to be evenly dispersed throughout a product, and both the liquid and powder forms of the emulsion are easy to incorporate into product lines. Not only that, our R&D teams are well versed in production from concept to final product and can help a customer every step of the way. If you have a product that you think would be better #poweredbySōRSE, schedule an exploratory call today!

SōRSE Employee Spotlight: Scott Riefler

SoRSE Employee Spotlight: Scott Riefler, Chief Science Officer

Meet our Chief Science Officer and Certified Food Scientist, Scott Riefler, who applied his food and beverage knowledge and experience to create SōRSE, our water-soluble emulsion technology for infusing beverages, food items, topicals and nutraceuticals. Before entering the food and beverage world, Scott worked as an advanced materials scientist in the aerospace industry. By nature, Scott is a teacher; he is a wealth of knowledge on a variety of subjects and is a mentor to many of SōRSE’s employees. When Scott is not at work, you can find him spending time with his wife and daughter, practicing yoga, and making a mean loaf of sourdough bread, which is also a science!

SōRSE Employee Spotlight: Scott Riefler

After working in the aerospace industry and at TIC Gums, how did you end up at SōRSE?

Serendipitously. I was at a concert with a friend who had brought a friend, and in chatting, I asked him what he was up to. He said he had left Microsoft and had entered the cannabis space, which I thought sounded pretty interesting. As we continued talking, I let him know that I had recently retired, and I mentioned something about the edibles platform. He then rattled off a whole bunch of reasons why it couldn’t be done. It gets me pretty excited when somebody tells me you can’t do something, so I responded by saying that I had some ideas that might work. That led to lab work, ultimately delivering his version of the impossible. It was revolutionary to the people who were working at the startup, which led to an invitation to join the team.

 

In your time with the company, what are you most proud of?

I am proud of watching a cohesive team form and exploit the value or the potential value this technology brings. I am proud that we have adopted a food business mentality with everything that goes with it in terms of food safety. I am most proud of the progress the team and my colleagues make.

What do you love about your work, and what do you find challenging?

I love that it’s applied technology into new frontiers. It’s new — we are pressing into the not-yet-possible with incredible speed. At times, I do struggle with setting high expectations and then delivering, so what is most challenging for me is outwardly projecting a realistic level of expectations while keeping my internal, unbridled enthusiasm a bit hidden. I often feel I wish I could be a stronger contributor. I do my best to practice that serenity poem.

 

At SōRSE and outside of SōRSE, you are a teacher – you mentor scientists, and you give presentations to people inside and outside of the cannabis industry. Why is sharing your knowledge with others important to you?

There are several levels to this. I follow the teachings and philosophies of a few people. In the world of systems, I am a W. Edward Deming disciple. I believe very strongly in his principles. In selling cycles, I believe in spin selling completely — so there are several facets to this answer.

 

First of all, everybody sells and everybody should be selling 100% of the time. One of the cornerstones for successful selling is first building trust. If you don’t first build trust, it is going to be very hard to get someone to give you their money. Sharing knowledge and educating is fundamental to building trust. For example, if I go to buy a car, and I find out early in the game that I know more about the car than the salesperson does, that person is never going to sell me a car. If the sales manager doesn’t listen to my request to talk to someone more knowledgeable than me, then they have lost my trust. We absolutely need to listen to the customer and hear what they are saying.

 

I also believe that I practice the idea of leaving it better than I found it. Something that we all inherently have is knowledge we share, particularly knowledge on topics other people may not have. If you can figure that part out, then leaving it better than you found it is become easy…paying it forward, if you will.

 

Back to selling — we are attempting to build a brand; we are attempting to get our phone to ring. One of the ways to build that brand and earn trust is to have our brand recognized as an authority in our space. Being invited to speak at industry symposiums, trade shows, attendance at our webinars, or even conversations with major customers is an indication that the marketplace sees us and our brand as an authority figure in our space. This is critical, it’s bedrock, it’s the foundation for us to be able to sell our product. Thus, it is incumbent for every one of us to be a teacher.

 

Then of course there is the burning platform theory — as a company, we need to continually grow and educate our employees, and acknowledge how important it is that employees are always training and learning. You can’t learn through osmosis.  Personally, I am constantly reading and attending seminars; I make a personal effort to constantly upgrade my training and then pass that knowledge on to others. I want to help people become “dangerous” and turn them into dangerous players in their space, and for me, that is almost always about knowledge and experience.

 

If you were to give a piece of advice to someone entering this industry, what would it be?

The first thing I would say is that nothing is special about this industry. Anyone who says that it is, is wrong; they are likely smoking the product.  Work hard, never substitute knowledge for familiarity, make sure it is your passion, and have fun.

 

To end, this is one of my favorite quotes: “If we knew what we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” Albert Einstein