Cannabis Beverage Trends (2023): Jason Vegotsky Weighs in
A 2021 report by New Frontier Data showed that even though “flower remains king,” other product categories increased their market share in 2021. This report showed that while 83% of users consumed flower, just 14% consumed beverages. However, the report noted that the percentage of consumers using flower exclusively has been shrinking as interest in other categories grows.
Traditionally, cannabis has been associated with smoking and “drinking cannabis” is an idea that many in the industry are getting accustomed to. But as more states move to legalize cannabis, it is expected that beveraging on cannabis will become the norm and canna-drinks will command a larger share of the market. After all, Americans are used to socializing through drinking and not smoking.
My Cannabis spoke to an industry expert, Jason Vegotsky, to gain deeper insights on the cannabis beverage trends to expect in 2023. Jason is the founder and CEO of Petalfast, a company that helps cannabis businesses launch into new markets and provides a framework to accelerate their growth in record time.
My Cannabis: Cannabis beverages are still a novelty in the market, commanding less than 5% of the market share. What should we expect to see in 2023?
Jason: Although cannabis beverage sales equal around 1-3% of the overall market sales, we expect this category to grow as more states legalize recreational use. The market share of cannabis beverages has increased by nearly 40% in the US and Canada since the beginning of 2021.
My Cannabis: Americans are slowly beginning to incorporate cannabis into their mainstream social life. What will be the place of cannabis beverages in this new trend?
Jason: With the growth of canna-tourism to a $17 billion industry, and the increase of consumption lounges across California, Nevada, And Illinois, we can expect to see cannabis-infused beverages being offered in more innovative and creative venues.
My Cannabis: what new products trends should we expect to see in 2023?
Jason: In terms of product trends, we are likely to see more beverage companies infusing their drinks with different cannabinoids, such as Delta 10, CBG, CBN, and THCV, which is an appetite suppressant. Consumers are becoming more health conscious and replacing alcohol with cannabis products. This trend is especially prevalent among the younger generations, ages 18-24, where 69% prefer cannabis over alcohol.
My Cannabis: the beverage industry is presumed to be highly profitable and competitive at the same time. How do you see cannabis businesses positioning themselves to make the most of this opportunity?
Jason: Well-established companies in the adult beverage space have already started seeking out acquisitions of smaller, successful cannabis beverage companies. However, with the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Of America (WSWA) expressing their support for federal cannabis legalization in March 2023, we will likely see more collaboration between alcohol and cannabis businesses. This collaboration would lead to more cannabis beverage brands adopting the traditional three-tier distribution system commonly deployed by alcohol beverage companies and the model we utilize at Petalfast. This change could be advantageous for struggling cannabis brands — allowing them to free up capital and scale faster.
In April, Petalfast, a route-through-market platform for the cannabis industry went into a partnership with High Tide, a cannabis beverage company. This partnership will allow High Tide to leverage high value retail channels and to find competitive markets within MA. With Petalfast acting as a launchpad, High Tide will be supported to launch and establish in MA and other new markets in the future. The Massachusetts-based brand offers an assortment of premium beverages infused with different cannabinoids that are tailored to offer relaxation and rejuvenation.
High Tide joins Petalfast’s expanding portfolio as the second MA-based company, the first being Freshly Baked.