September 20, 2021 by Sebastian Richard & Dan Marmor of Cann
Stick your arm out fully extended and sweep it back and forth in front of you. Now if you followed that instruction, you are probably cursing my name and questioning why you didn’t ask any questions up front, for there is a high chance you knocked over a beverage. For it is this wet puddle and what it once was that I want us to understand. Beverages, what are they, and why not just water?
When water is all you need, it is hard to be the only thing you want. And so humankind has put its creativity to it and over the centuries has brought to life a plethora of tastes concocted from both near and far ingredients.
We drink for a myriad of reasons; fun, stress, wake up, go to sleep, socialize, commiserate, celebrate. Though rarely, if ever, do we accept something we do not enjoy. Taste is the live and die metric for beverages.
Whether it’s the roasting temperature or brewing method of coffee, the distillation of botanicals for gin, the aging in oak for wine, the carbonation and sugars for soda, pulp or no pulp, there is a fundamental goal being aimed for – taste great.
Few will pick up a beverage and give it a second chance after a distasteful first outing. Food, sure, but a liquid, first impressions count and boy don’t we know it.
So when the world’s newest industry Cannabis begins to mature, it is of no surprise that beverages are the fastest growing segment within it. Resembling an action and form factor that we know intimately, the door is already open for Cannabis Beverages to take advantage. Though head the warning, tasting is believing and ingredients matter. With the modern consumer being driven by an increasingly strong urge to be familiar with what they are consuming, there is little room to hide. Before the cap is even popped, the ingredients are the first battle ground and are the greatest indicator to taste.
As an ever increasingly CPG driven consumer enters the cannabis space, beverages represent the lowest barrier to trial and the simplest introduction to the plant in general. Though if we want to ensure our new-to-cannabis consumers don’t leave beverage behind as their horizons expand, the ingredient lists must be at the standard of traditional beverages forward thinking brands. Peak at the meteoric rise of Kombucha (hard and soft), and you will see a boundary pushing idea that bacteria can be a tasty option.
Quality ingredients, however they come, that can be counted on one hand, pronounced, and widely regarded as not totally terrible for you, are the gold standard. In the immortal words of Eminem “we have one shot, one opportunity” to make that first step into cannabis beverage, not be the last. Our taste, our ingredients are the backbone of that ongoing journey.
With a set of taste buds more unique than your fingerprint, it is no wonder that beverages are among the most diverse offerings a grocery store can carry. People want more, they want clean and they want deliciousness. I truly believe that Cannabis Beverages can deliver on those and shake a mighty stick at Big Alcohol’s stranglehold on the social consumption landscape.
Ingredients will be the key to unlocking the consumer and how that taste profile is delivered will be the key to securing the future of Cannabis Beverages.
Taste is believing and ingredients are the roadmap to that outcome.