Cannabis Drinks Expos Recap 2022

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Written by | August 9th, 2022

At the Cannabis Drinks Expos in San Francisco and Chicago in July and August, SōRSE sampled our clients’ RTD and RTM beverage products that use our water-soluble solutions. Both events were very well attended, and people who stopped by the tables were impressed with the number of well-known infused beverage brands powered by SōRSE. Here are some takeaways SōRSE team members have from the expos.

Brands Are Interested in Pairing the Minors with the Majors

The focus at both events was primarily THC, but there was also interest in infusing beverages with some of the minor cannabinoids. The more mainstream minors like CBG, CBN, and CBC were featured more prominently in beverages, and interest is peaking in some of the rarer cannabinoids such as THCv. 

Brands Lean Towards Citrus & Herbal Flavors, and Look to Infuse De-alcoholized Beverages

 One of the biggest trends we are seeing in the cannabis beverage space is the number of brands looking to infuse de-alcoholized wine and beer, as well as create cannabis-infused mocktails and spirits. While consumers are cutting back on their alcohol consumption, they are still looking for great-tasting beverages that provide an elevated experience without the headache the next day.   

In terms of flavor profiles, citrus is a favorite among beverage producers given how well it pairs with other fruit flavors and herbs. The variety of floral and herbal beverages really highlighted the fact that the cannabis beverage space is diversifying in terms of flavor and taste.  

Brands Are Interested in Smaller, Portable Formats Like Shots and Tablets

Shots and water-soluble tinctures continue to be popular with brands. Producers are also thinking about how to expand their product portfolios with tablets or stick packs for RTM drinks.

Brands Lean Towards Creating Low Cal Beverages

Low calorie and low sugar were definitely topics of conversation at both shows. Consumers want other benefits, outside of those obtained through CBD and THC, to enhance their experience. This includes adaptogens, minor cannabinoids, herbal additives, and other natural beverage enhancers.  We expect functional ingredients that deliver complementary effects will be blended with cannabinoids in future formulations.

Brands Are Creating Both Low Dose and High Dose Beverages Based on Their Target Markets

 At both events, we spoke with producers who want to offer lower dose beverages (~2 mg) and others looking to bump up the dosage to 100mg.  There are fewer drinks on the market in the 10-20mg range, and a limited number with a 50mg dose. Brands are choosing one or the other: low-dose or high-dose. Offering a 100mg drink lets the consumer choose the right dose for them, and generally get the most bang for their buck.

Brands Are Looking to Expand into Other Legal Markets

 Attendees inquired about how to expand into other legal recreational and medical markets. With the footprint SōRSE has created through our mobile run program, we’re able to refer brands to our partners in different areas to help them achieve their goals.

For more insights on the Cannabis Drinks Expos and how SōRSE Technology can support you with the development of functional products, please book a meeting with a representative from our team.