Could alternative sourcing be the future of CBD?28 Feb 2023
Sales growth of food and drink products containing CBD has fallen drastically in recent years, largely due to regulatory and consumer acceptance issues. Some companies are exploring new sources, such as CBD made from the terpenes in orange peel.
Cannabinol (CBD) sales growth in the food and drink industry in the US fell off a cliff in recent years. Though sales of CBD saw a meteoric rise in 2018 and 2019, they have since declined drastically in 2020 and 2021, according to a report by the Nutrition Business Journal. In 2019, hemp-derived CBD growth peaked at around 90%, yet fell to negative figures in 2020 where it has remained ever since.
This downward trend in sales growth is set to continue, according to the same report, which predicts further stable declines each year in the foreseeable future. This is partly due to the fact that many leading industry regulators, including the FDA, have continually refused to regulate food and drink products containing CBD.
Regulation is stifling CBD market growth
The potential of hemp-derived CBD in food and beverage products has been a hot topic in recent years, with many companies eagerly investing in the ingredient in anticipation of a profitable future. Unfortunately, regulation (or the lack thereof) of CBD ingredients has presented itself as a common stumbling block for brands seeking to incorporate CBD ingredients in product formulations.
In yet another hit to the sector, on 26 January 2023, the FDA announced a refusal to regulate CBD products following a consumer petition calling for their approval to be marketable as dietary supplements. In a statement, the FDA’s principal deputy commissioner Janet Woodock expressed concerns about the long-term safety risks associated with the consumption of CBD.
“Studies have shown the potential for harm to the liver, interactions with certain medications and possible harm to the male reproductive system,” Woodock said.
Concerns were also raised regarding the effect of CBD containing products on children and pregnant women.
The FDA’s recent announcement could render the future of CBD as an ingredient in food and drink products even more uncertain, much to the disappointment of industry stakeholders.
CBD derived from alternatives sources could solve consumer acceptance issues
Despite the regulatory setbacks, there may still be hope for the industry. The European CBD market is expected to grow to €2.6 billion, with users of the ingredient reaching 50 million by 2026, a recent report by UK-based market research company, Prohibition Partners, found.
© AdobeStock/New Africa
The uptick in consumer interest in CBD products in recent years has led to a flurry of startups and industry players seeking to explore the possibilities of using CBD as a food ingredient, sparking innovation in the food industry.
To bypass barriers to consumer acceptance associated with cannabis-derived CBD, several companies are experimenting with CBD derived from alternatives sources, such as orange peel or hops. US-based CBD company Peels developed an oil which it claims is bio-identical to pure hemp-based CBD but is made from the terpenes found in orange peel.
Major flavour producer Symrise has produced a nature-identical, synthetically formulated CBD that is suitable for use as a pharmaceutical ingredient and as an immediate product for the development of new substances. The basis for the active ingredient, D-limonene, is derived from a group of terpenes and is a by-product of the orange juice industry.
In future, brands may benefit from growing consumer acceptance from millennial and gen Z consumers. In the US, Mintel data from 2021 shows that 17% of consumers are interested in trying hemp-derived CBD, compared to 26% of consumers aged 25-34.
Additives in US food products up 10% since 2001
18 Jul 2023
New research revealed that 60% of foods purchased by Americans contained technical food additives as of 2019, which was a 10% increase since 2001.Read more
Industry first: The Netherlands approves cultivated meat and seafood tastings
17 Jul 2023
The Netherlands has become the first country in Europe to approve tastings of cultivated meat and seafood in controlled environments, yet there is still a long way to go before widescale commercialisation is achieved.Read more
One-fifth of Brazilian whey protein products mislabelled
12 Jul 2023
One fifth of whey protein products sold in Brazil are mislabelled, according to one small survey, as the Latin American trade association ALANUR calls on authorities to act against brands that inappropriately advertise the nutritional attributes of the...Read more
New Nordic nutrition guidelines emphasise plant-based eating
11 Jul 2023
Nordic scientists and experts are now recommending that people should consume less meat and more plants for both their health and the health of the planet.Read more
Manufacturers await groundbreaking aspartame safety review
10 Jul 2023
The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is preparing to release its findings on whether the sweetener aspartame is a possible carcinogen.Read more
Food sector pushes unhealthy choices on consumers, new report shows
7 Jul 2023
Regulators and retailers must take action to prevent European consumers from being led to make unhealthy food choices, experts say.Read more
How to revive stagnating plant-based meat sales
6 Jul 2023
Sales of plant-based meat are stagnating, products are being withdrawn, and brands are declaring bankruptcy – but Rabobank’s RaboResearch has identified five strategies that could help revive the category, and precision fermentation could be an NPD gam...Read more
UK consumer trust in supermarkets falls to nine-year-low
5 Jul 2023
Research by UK consumer review organisation, Which?, reports decreasing levels of trust in the food industry, with two-thirds of shoppers feeling ripped off.Read more
UK retailers flout unhealthy product regulation
4 Jul 2023
UK retailers are continuing to promote unhealthy products that are high in fat, salt, and sugar (HFSS) despite recent regulation that bans such practices.Read more
Are Dutch supermarkets committed to human rights?
3 Jul 2023
Dutch supermarkets lack widespread measures to respect human rights in supply chains, research project Superlist Social's inaugural report finds.Read more