Cannabidiol (CBD) ready-to-drink tea and coffee sales grew by about 3,609% in 2019 versus the prior year. That trend will likely continue as U.S. retail sales of CBD products are expected to soar past $10 billion by 2024.
To gain perspective, Benzinga spoke with beverage innovator Michelle Sundquist. She has two decades worth of experience behind her working at Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX). In 2018, she joined SōRSE Technology, a Seattle-based startup that specializes in edible and drinkable cannabis/CBD products.
Here, she provides an in-depth look at the crowded CBD market, the “psychology” behind food and beverage marketing, how flavors change by region and the three biggest trends affecting beverage consumption today.
BZ: What drew you to SoRSE?
M.S.: After 20 years of working for a large Fortune 500 company, I wanted to try something new. Something really new. I was drawn to SōRSE because they were doing a lot of research and close examination of cannabinoids, specifically CBD, which was gaining a lot of attention and becoming a popular ingredient in the marketplace. They also had the funding to be able to grow. I was also attracted to the company because of the reputable people from the food and beverage industry I knew working for them. It seemed like there was no way they could fail, and it seemed to be an exciting time to be a part of the cannabis industry.
Why is there a growing focus on CBD beverages?
The growing …