Coca Cola Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtSeptember 17, 2018
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3min10162

A report from Bloomberg stated that beverage giant Coca-Cola (KO) was keeping its eyes on the CBD beverage market and it could be considering Aurora Cannabis (ACBFF) as its partner.

“We are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world,” Coca-Cola spokesman Kent Landers said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg News. “The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time.”

Cannabidiol or CBD is the part of the cannabis plant that provides wellness benefits but does not give the consumer a psychoactive response. Green Market Report had heard for many months that Coca Cola was actually stockpiling CBD in a very hush hush operation, that could not be confirmed.

Constellation Brands (STZ) kicked off the cannabis beverage battle when it billions investing in Canopy Growth Corp. (CGC). The investment came under fire from Moody’s, who called it a speculative bet. Even some Constellation shareholders had complained the board had gone rogue.

The Constellation move was followed by a joint venture between Molson Coors and Hydropothecary Corp. to develop a cannabis drink. Lagunitas, owned by Heineken has already launched a THC beer called Hi-Fi Hops.

The focus has mostly been on THC-infused drinks as a replacement for alcoholic beverages. The idea is that consumers would prefer the drinking experience to continue, but instead of getting buzzed by alcohol, they would feel the effects of cannabis.

Coca Cola recognizes that the CBD drink market could be even bigger. It would be the equivalent of Vitamin water. Soda sales have declined as wellness drinks have taken over. Coca Cola has already made efforts to diversify its beverage portfolio like adding Odwalla drinks, Smart Water, Honest Tea, Fairlife milk and of course Vitamin Water.

Cannabis beverages already exist in legalized states, but they have been a very small part of the cannabis consumer market. Typically, sales only command about 1% of the market according to Headset data.

CBD drinks are also already on the market from companies like CBD Living Water.  Still, there hasn’t been a mainstream producer willing to take the risk associated with a cannabis drink. If Coca-Cola does move forward with Aurora, it could spark a cannabis beverage battle.


Cynthia SalarizadehCynthia SalarizadehOctober 4, 2017
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5min53760

Coca Cola takes first place over Pepsi and Dr. Pepper as the most preferred soda brand among cannabis consumers.

In a study conducted by Consumer Research Around Cannabis and Green Market Report for the Cannabis Freakonomics series, over the last 7 days and throughout 25 Markets with a sample size of 27,503 responses, over 32% of cannabis consumers chose Coca Cola over any other brand. Pepsi came in at 23.8%, Dr. Pepper held 13%, Mountain was the favorite at 12% and Sprite had 11%.

“Coca-Cola is perhaps the most well-known brand in the world and they have tremendous distribution.  Of course regional tastes, ethnicity and cannabis legality state by state are also factors to consider.  As beverage companies add cannabis consumer research to their arsenal for branding and marketing, Coke may not always be #1.  Its not too different from what we saw with McDonald’s and fast food,” said VP of Sales for Consumer Research Around Cannabis Jeff Stein.

“Coke is the clear winner over Pepsi with cannabis consumers. That may be because it is the soda sold at McDonald’s, which we found out last week is their overwhelming choice for fast food,” said Green Market Report CEO Debra Borchardt. “The choice of Red Bull over diet drinks may be because of the company’s sport sponsorships. Red Bull backs athletes from sports like BMX racing, snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding. Many of these sports are less formal than traditional sports and some of the athletes are open about their cannabis consumption.”

This could all be good news for struggling soda revenues as the build their non-soda brands and bring healthier beverages to people around the globe.

Throughout the press these days, soda brands such as the ones cannabis consumers surveyed were asked to stake their preference in continue to try and move toward being understood as companies that include more than just soda, which is largely agreed to be a far less healthy option for beverage consumption compared to water or organic juices.

Soda sales continue to fall throughout the United States, and Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) is actively pursuing a perception that indeed positions them as more than just a soft drink company. Coke now wants to be known as a “total beverage company”. They now offer non-soda brands that include Odwalla juice, Smartwater and Honest Tea, however most of their revenue still comes from soda.

Pepsi (PEP, +0.14%) just claimed that their North American business took a hit and lost market share in its most recent quarter because the company began to focus marketing efforts away from their key soda brands of Pepsi and Mountain Dew and moved them toward the healthier option of its LIFEWTR. This proved to be a decision that hurt initially.

These changes will continue to hurt in the beginning as the market calibrates. But, water should also not cost more than soda. These brands will have to push forward as people require something healthier and accept that it will take time to adjust.

“Consumers are looking for products that are more natural,” explained the new Coca Cola CEO, James Quincey, “At times with less sugar. Sometimes with more benefits.”

Coke hopes to reduce sugar in more than 500 of its drink by the end of 2017. “We’ve begun our journey toward that goal,” Quincey said.

In the meantime, cannabis consumers have reviewed the available soft drink brands and Coca Cola wins.



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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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