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. 

Press Release: SōRSE Adds Clear Emulsion to Its Product Offerings

SoRSE clear

Seattle, Washington—October 27, 2020—SōRSE Technology, the leading water-soluble CBD, hemp, and terpene emulsion provider for infused CPG brands, announced today its creation of SōRSE Clear, a stable, clear emulsion with a minimal sensory profile. The product made its official debut at SōRSE’s inaugural SōRSE Summit, which was exclusively held for the company’s partners. SōRSE Clear is available immediately for product evaluation.

Clear emulsions are difficult to develop due to the process of getting Refractive Indexes to match. A Refractive Index measures the bending of a ray of light through mediums, with oil droplets that are evenly dispersed reflecting more light. When different Refractive Indexes mix together, the result is a cloudy emulsion. Making a cloudy emulsion turn clear takes months of experimentation trying to match the Refractive Indexes of the oil and water phases.

SōRSE Clear, currently available in isolate, complies with all the main safety and testing protocols, including GMP, GFSI, COA, and FSMA. It contains safe ingredients that are allergen-free and vegan. This clear emulsion can be applied to all product applications, including beverages, nootropics, edibles, topicals, and nutraceuticals.

SōRSE Clear features multiple benefits for product developers, including stability, scalability, safety, bioavailability, improved sensory experience, homogeneity, accurate dosing, and seamless integration.

“2020 has been a year of innovation for SōRSE Technology, and bringing a stable, clear emulsion with minimal sensory impact to market is proof of that,” commented SōRSE CEO Howard Lee. “I’m proud of the work our R&D team did to make this happen. It’s a game-changer for the industry.”

“I’m excited that we are adding a clear emulsion to our core portfolio; this will give formulators and product developers the ability to innovate and to cater to the needs within the global food and beverage market,” said SōRSE Director of Research and Analytics Donna Wamsley. “This unique technology has excellent clarity, minimal sensory properties, and stability.”

About SōRSE Technology

SōRSE Technology Corporation is a water-soluble emulsion technology designed for product developers to provide consumers with a better, more consistent cannabinoid experience with greater bioavailability, near-perfect dosing, shelf-stability, and safe ingredients. Its patent-pending technology converts oil into SōRSE, a proprietary water-soluble emulsion, for infusing CBD and other functional ingredients into beverages, food items, topicals, and medical applications. SōRSE Technology currently powers more than 45 leading products in the CBD space.

SōRSE Technology Press

Jon Lindsay Phillips

RLM PR

SorseTech@rlmpr.com

+1-646-828-8566

Food Dive: How SōRSE Technology is formulating CBD products in a pandemic

5 Things You Need to Know to Create an Infused CBD Beverage

“We’re still trying to do what we can given the circumstances… We are still manufacturing, we’re still producing product, doing development, it’s just taking sometimes a little bit longer time to get it done or just a more creative way to get it done.” – Michael Flemmens, SōRSE’s VP of Technical Business Development

As interest in infused food and beverage has increased during the pandemic, Food Dive interviewed Michael Flemmens, on how SōRSE continues to formulate CBD products during this time. Read more of Michael’s comments here.

5 Things You Need to Know to Create an Infused CBD Beverage

5 Things You Need to Know to Create an Infused CBD Beverage

Jacob Schweppe. Dr. John Pemberton. Caleb Bradham. Perhaps only one of these names sounds familiar to you — Jacob Schweppe — because you can find his last name in every grocery store on bottles and cans of ginger ale, club soda, and tonic water. Schweppe first began selling seltzer in Geneva 237 years ago in 1783, 30 years after carbonation techniques were developed. The other men created two of the most famous beverages in the world: Pemberton invented Coca-Cola in 1886, and Bradham developed Pepsi-Cola in 1898. 

Beyond being the founders of three iconic beverage brands, these gentlemen had something else in common, something they share with people who are creating beverages today — their drinks started with an idea and inspiration. Perhaps you, like them, want to make an infused beverage, perhaps inspired by a drink you loved as a kid, a drink that you had on vacation, or a drink that you concocted in your kitchen for fun. How do you take that idea and turn it into a viable product that you might find on a store shelf?  Here are the Top 5 Things You Need to Know to Create an Infused CBD Beverage from three SōRSE producers themselves. 

1. IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET CONSUMER —  GET TO KNOW THEM INSIDE AND OUT 

The first thing you need to know is that a product is more successful when you are passionate about an idea. There are a lot of really good ideas out there, but good ideas are only successful when they happen at the right time and the right place. Ask  yourself why you want to do it and what you can bring to the table. What is your niche, and how are you going to differentiate yourself and excel?  

In the idea generation phase, you need to identify your audience — who is going to buy your beverage and where that person would buy it. The profile of your target consumer should be as specific as possible. You should be able to picture what that person looks like in your head; you should know what kind of clothes they shop for, what kind of cereal they would buy, and where they would buy it. You have to get in their head and see the world through their eyes. You need to know what is important to them.  

When you do market and consumer research, do a deep dive on all the different things your consumer is attracted to, all the while focusing on how your product is going to appeal to them AND be different. When you market to a consumer, you can talk about all the positives of your product, but you have to talk about what makes yours unique. One of those positives has to be something that no other producer can talk about. 

Product development is like any other sort of idea generation — you need to do tons of research to really know your audience.  When you are creating an infused beverage with CBD or another cannabinoid, the narrower you can make your consumer, the more successful you will be. You want to create a beverage that someone will stop to buy in the middle of the day somewhere; you want that repeat customer. Your drink being delicious isn’t enough — you need to create a need in your customer so that they will keep coming back.  

It’s also important to visualize what your consumer is doing when they are drinking your beverage. This will help you create a marketing focus which will then tie into the format you choose, your packaging, the color palette for your branding, and the words you use to draw attention to your product. When someone sees your product in a store, you want them to wonder what it is. Once you hook them in with the look of your product, your flavor will keep them there.   

2. DETERMINE WHAT FORMAT YOU WANT YOUR PRODUCT TO COME IN — GLASS, CAN, POWDER, RIP AND SIP, CONCENTRATE OR DROPS  

When looking for where your product will fit in in the marketplace, it’s best to examine other products your consumer might purchase and what the packaging looks like. Packaging and labeling are the first visual and tactile interactions a customer has with your product, so that first level of engagement is important. Is your consumer drawn to natural products? Do they buy glass over plastic because they are concerned about their environmental footprint? Do they buy products with fruits and vegetables on their labels? Your label and packaging should reflect your company ethos and what makes your product different.  You should also consider how your consumer takes in information about products and how they digest it. Where the products they are buying are being advertised — on social media? In print? Is the product being handed out at events?   

3. CREATING A FLAVOR PROFILE AND DETERMINING DOSING  

Adding CBD to a beverage formula that already exists is relatively easy, but if you are starting the process from scratch and creating something new, you can begin by looking at food trends. Those tend to start at boutique, culinary restaurants. Eventually they can trickle down and show up in other places and then be transferred into color palettes, clothing, ice cream flavors, all the way down to the fast food level — the highly accessible level.  Microtrends are ones that are just emerging, mainstream trends are ones that appeal to a lot of people, and then there are trends that are on their way out.  

Today, national and global travel is relatively easy — so people are exposed to new flavors and are generally open to trying other cultures’ flavors. That said, it helps to use a base flavor that is transferable and versatile in almost any recipe. The secondary flavors are the ones that might be more out there — one that you wouldn’t expect to see paired with the base flavor. For example, citrus is a common base flavor, and it pairs well with other secondary flavors like mint or berry.  
 

When it comes to choosing the type of CBD you want to infuse in your drink, you have a few options. If you want a beverage with a clean, specific flavor profile, use an isolate. If you know that your customer will prefer the flavor of cannabis and will appreciate the nuances of the botanical flavors, then you would choose a broad spectrum. Broad spectrum adds another layer of complexity which some see as a perk and premium.  

You will also need to determine how many milligrams per serving of your cannabinoid will be in your beverage. If you are making a recovery drink, then you might offer 25 mg to the consumer; if you are creating an herbal tea for the evening, then you might choose 10-15 mg per serving.   

4. FIND A TRUSTED CBD SUPPLIER  

When making an infused beverage, consumer safety should be your #1 concern. That means that your label claims need to be accurate, that your beverage is shelf stable, that the product quality has been tested, and that the consumer experience is a positive one. Take the time to find a CBD supplier who has extremely high standards, who are offering the best product on the market.  

The company supplying your CBD should be following regulatory protocols, supplying documents that verify product quality, offering the appropriate solution for your beverage, and offering implementation support. Look carefully at the types of CBD the supplier offers — water-soluble solutions, oil-based solutions, and emulsions — and work with them to find the best solution for your product. You will also want to work with a lab that can independently test your product and that is open to communication with your CBD supplier. 

If you are working with a company that offers an emulsion, make sure that the emulsion is their priority and not simply an add-on offering. Look for an emulsion that is stable in its raw form and in the letdown, as well as one that has been tested for shelf life.  If the company cannot supply documentation on their product like a Certificate of Analysis, Product Data Sheets and Safety Data Sheets, it’s time to find a different supplier! 

5. BASED ON YOUR TARGET CONSUMER, IDENTIFY WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO PRODUCE YOUR BEVERAGE AND WHO IS GOING TO PRODUCE IT FOR YOU 

Figuring out who your consumer is is also tied to where you are going to produce your product. 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 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.   

When you are ready to produce your beverage, look for a co-manufacturer who has produced other infused beverages. A company that understands CBD as an ingredient and has produced other CBD beverages will understand how to work with it. Doing test batches is key because it will allow you to tweak your formula if you need to. 

Creating a product for consumer use is an exercise in creativity, analysis, problem-solving, flexibility and collaboration. You might hit bumps in the road along the way of getting your CBD beverage to a grocery store shelf, but if you work with a CBD supplier and co-manufacturer who has experience working with cannabinoids, they will be able to collaborate and work with you throughout the process. At SōRSE, our R&D team is well-versed in beverage 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 beverage journey! 

SōRSE 2019 Recap

SoRSE team photo

For a company that started 2019 with 15 employees and is finishing with over 40, it has been an exciting year for SōRSE Technology, one filled with change, growth, challenge, and promise.  The articles listed below document some of the many highlights for SōRSE from the year — from Geekwire’s peek into the goings-on in our Seattle offices and labs, to a press announcement about our expanded partnership agreement with Valens. The articles highlighted throughout the year are on some of the people who power SōRSE and the events where we have showcased our products and our knowledge about the marketplace. SōRSE is definitely ending the year on a high note, having emerged as an innovative leader in the industry.

SōRSE Featured in Geekwire

In May, a team from Geekwire paid a visit to SōRSE headquarters and wrote this piece about the company’s beginnings, the products #powered by SōRSE, and on the magic happening in the labs. Writer Kurt Schlosser commented, “Lee considers what his scientists are working on to be more of a platform — like Gortex — and he said the breakthrough for the company has been in understanding food technology, speed to market, and getting the right people to actually help drive the product.”

Forbes: Five Questions with Scott Riefler 

In July, Chief Science Officer, Scott Riefler, was interviewed by columnist Warren Bobrow on his background in aerospace and food science, as well as the work he is doing at SōRSE. When asked about short and long-term goals, Scott commented: “Regardless of the timeframe, our team is always focused on improving and evolving our technology.”

Emily Skrobecki Recognized as Fifteen Power and Innovation Women in Cannabis 

In August, Manager of Process Engineering, Emily Skrobecki, was named one of the Cannabis industry’s most powerful and innovative women by Forbes. When describing Emily, writer Warren Bobrow commented, “The challenge of the unknown is what drives Skrobecki to search for knowledge and dive deep into this type of science.”

Mad Tasty Featured on the Today Show

In September, Ryan Tedder, frontman of the band, OneRepublic, appeared on the Today Show to talk about his successes, his failures, his creative process. Toward the end of the interview, after being handed a can of Mad Tasty (powered by SōRSE)  and asked what it was, he commented, “In all my downtime, I started a beverage company about a year ago with Interscope Records, my label, and some friends…It’s got 20 mg of CBD in each can…zero sugar, all natural. I drink about five a day.”

SōRSE Debuts Agglomerated Powder at SupplySide West 

In October, at SupplySideWest in Las Vegas, the SōRSE team unveiled its agglomerated CBD powder, which allows for rapid hydration for instant beverages. When describing the power of the powder, VP of Science, Michael Flemmens commented, “This is a game-changer and silver bullet for the cannabis functional ingredient space and infused products.”

Diana Eberlein Gives Her Insight on the Celebrity and Cannabis Wave Featured on CNN 

In November, CNN ran an article on Drake entering the cannabis space through a partnership with Canopy Growth. VP of Marketing, Diana Eberlein, shared her thoughts on which types of celebrity brands resonate with customers, and which don’t. “People are attracted to brands that are real and authentic…If it feels inauthentic, they will lose that audience very quickly.”

Emily Skrobecki Named in High Times Female 50

Also in November, Manager of Process Engineering, Emily Skrobecki, was honored for her work in the cannabis industry in the inaugural honoree class of the High Times’ Female 50. Each woman featured on the list was nominated and voted on by the public. High Times staffers wrote, “This collection represents fifty women in all areas of the cannabis space, from research to business and from politics to activism, who have made their mark in a truly significant and impactful way.”

SōRSE Wraps up the Year with a Successful BevNET Live Debut 

In December, the SōRSE team traveled to Santa Monica for the company’s debut as an exhibitor at BevNET Cannabis Forum and as a Gold Sponsor of BevNET Live Winter 2019. A highlight of the conference was SōRSE partnering with Drop Water and hosting a “Build Your Own CBD Beverage” station where guests could create their own CBD beverage. CEO Howard Lee shared, “Our team showed the breadth and array of flavor and dosage possibilities to attendees and generated positive buzz around our technology and this emerging category.”

SōRSE Expanded Partnership Agreement with Valens 

In December, SōRSE and Valens announced their expanded partnership agreement, which grants Valens an exclusive license for Canada, Europe, Australia and Mexico to use the proprietary SōRSE emulsion technology to produce, market, package, sell and distribute cannabis-infused products. Tyler Robson, CEO of Valens, commented, “We expect the expanded exclusive territory will provide our clients with improved visibility and greater opportunity as they look to build global businesses around cannabis-infused products over the long term.”

2019 has proven that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts at SōRSE. Yes, we have increased our staff three-fold in twelve months, but what is most important about this growth is the intelligence, innovation, and the range of professional experience that each member of the team brings to the table. SōRSE is powered by creative, analytic, fun-loving people who are passionate about what they do, who believe in the products they are producing, and who appreciate the strengths and talents of their co-workers. When we look back at what the company has accomplished in 2019, we can only be excited for what is ahead of us in 2020 and beyond.