What does the future hold for CBD in Europe?2 Jan 2020
Foods, drinks and supplements containing CBD oil are taking off in North America, despite uncertainty surrounding its regulatory status, but even in Europe foods containing hemp-derived ingredients are on the rise.
Despite a huge amount of activity around CBD – a non-hallucinogenic extract from the cannabis plant – in North America over the past couple of years, the European Union has become the standard for global market acceptance as the European Food Safety Authority grapples with the best way to establish sensible regulation to ensure access to safe, standardised products.
In January 2019, EFSA amended novel foods regulation so that hemp flowers, leaves and all extracts containing cannabinoids (such as CBD oil) required novel foods approval. Now, only products from hemp seeds and seed oils are permitted in foods without such approval – and their use is widespread, appearing in products like non-dairy milk, breakfast cereals and bars, bread, snacks, pasta and vegetarian burgers. However, the change in regulation threw the burgeoning CBD market into disarray, as companies already operating in the sector suddenly needed to seek EFSA approval to continue using it. For small firms, such approval can be prohibitively expensive, costing upwards of €300,000 for an uncomplicated application, plus the cost of research to demonstrate its safety.
Some suggest it is only a matter of time before regulatory barriers are removed, but until the EU approves CBD for food use across the region, it seems likely that major manufacturers will continue to drag their feet. The biggest names are poised to explore the ingredient’s potential, as companies like Coca-Cola, AB InBev and Heineken-owned Lagunitas Brewing have all announced their interest – or even started laying the groundwork with partnerships and product development.
The European industry is watching closely for EFSA’s pending decision on a novel foods application for CBD from the Czech company Cannabis Pharma, which could open the floodgates for other companies to launch in the European Union. Local hemp growers eagerly await the decision too; Europe is the world’s largest hemp growing region after many EU member states lifted a ban on growing it in the late 1990s.
In the meantime, some in the industry, including the UK-based Cannabis Trades Association, have called for a legal opinion with the backing of member states on whether cannabis extracts are indeed novel – a status it disputes.
While the industry awaits clarification on EU-wide use, the regulatory situation in the United States also could provide a model for broader use in the region. Products containing CBD (as well as psychoactive THC) are technically illegal under federal law in the US, but sales are permitted in states that have more relaxed laws on cannabis in general. A similar situation is possible in the EU as member states can overrule EFSA’s novel foods approval requirement, and Bulgaria has already done so.
When (and if) CBD does gain approval in the EU, market researchers are optimistic about its potential. Euromonitor International, for example, has suggested that global new product launches could double within two years, buoyed by considerable consumer interest in ‘mood foods’ and nootropics.
China’s self-heating trend heats up ready meal category
21 Sep 2020
Self-heating ready meals are experiencing a boom in China, catering to the country’s ‘lazy economy’, and Mintel estimates its market value will double in coming years.Read more
Spike in counterfeit goods could damage ‘Make in India’ initiative, warns report
14 Sep 2020
Counterfeit products are rising in India and fast-moving consumer goods, including food, is in the top three worst-hit sectors. Greater traceability is needed to safeguard the national ‘Make in India’ initiative, says an industry report.Read more
Finding opportunities in Vietnam’s changing retail landscape
7 Sep 2020
Minimarkets, specialist stores and e-commerce platforms are leading retail growth in Vietnam, providing new opportunities for brands to boost sales, according to Kantar Worldpanel.Read more
Beware of ‘woke washing’: Ethical branding must reflect an ethical business
31 Aug 2020
Spanish chocolate manufacturer Lacasa is under pressure to change the name and logo of its Conguitos brand with a consumer-led petition - but experts warn against empty ‘cause marketing’.Read more
Federal lawsuit challenges US rules on ‘misleading’ GM labelling
24 Aug 2020
The Center for Food Safety has filed a federal lawsuit challenging USDA rules that mean genetic modification (GM) foods are labelled as ‘bioengineered’ – a move it says reduces transparency and causes consumer confusion.Read more
Brazil’s food waste law will put consumers at risk, warn experts
17 Aug 2020
Recent Brazilian regulation aims to fight food waste by encouraging food donations – but it puts public health at risk, warn consumer groups and legal experts.Read more
UK pledges to protect food standards during trade talks but public concern remains high
6 Aug 2020
British public concerns over lowering food safety standards continue to court US trade remain steadfast as the UK and US governments gear up for the next round of scheduled negotiations later this month.Read more
Pressure on baby milk manufacturers intensifies over mineral oil traces
3 Aug 2020
Consumer watchdog Foodwatch is calling for EU member states and the European Commission to publish the results of official tests on the presence of potentially harmful aromatic mineral oil in baby milk and infant formula.Read more
Flexitarians in China are revitalising the mock meat tradition
27 Jul 2020
Many Asian countries, China in particular, have traditions of mock meat but the region is developing a new, innovation-fuelled plant-based sector to meet the demands of urban flexitarians, say experts.Read more
PepsiCo Egypt CEO feels bullish about regional growth: ‘The opportunities are huge’
20 Jul 2020
PepsiCo recently announced a US$100m capital investments in Egypt, and its confidence in the country’s growth potential is unshaken even by coronavirus, says the CEO of PepsiCo Egypt.Read more
Are you a supplier
Here's what we can do for you
- Generate quality leads for your business
- Stay visible for 365 days of the year
- Receive product inquiries and respond to meeting requests directly
- Improve company online presence through Search Engine Optimisation