It’s the world’s largest beverage company, one of the most recognizable brands globally, and one that needs absolutely no introduction: Coca-Cola.
Now, according to Canadian cannabis producer Aurora Cannabis Inc., the soft drink giant has expressed an interest in the cannabis market, namely, producing a line of beverages that contain the non-psychoactive cannabinoid, CBD or cannabidiol. The Edmonton, Alberta-based company is Canada’s third-largest cannabis company, with a market value of $8.7 billion.
“We are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world,” said Coca-Cola spokesman Kent Landers in an emailed statement to Bloomberg News. “The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time.”
This expressed interest in the cannabis market is in line with the recent health trend of adding CBD to food and beverage products, something that is becoming increasingly popular amongst today’s more health conscious population.
Coca-Cola’s participation in the cannabis market would, therefore, ensure that they capitalize on this trend and better position themselves in a marketplace that is decidedly more health conscious. The brand has experienced a decline in its traditional business, which is likely due to (1) its perception as unhealthy and (2) the increase in healthier, equally/more delicious alternatives.
To offset this decline, the company, which produces iconic brands such as Coke, Sprite, and Powerade, has been diversifying over the past 10 years. Today, Coca-Cola produces a suite of flavored sodas, as well as juice, tea, mineral water, and, most recently, coffee.
Heather MacGregor, Director Of Communications at Aurora Cannabis Inc., said in an emailed statement that the cannabis producer has expressed specific interest in the infused-beverage space, and intends to enter that market, BNN Bloomberg’s David George-Cosh reported.
CBD-infused drinks are increasingly used to mitigate inflammation, pain and cramping. Currently, there are no guarantees of any deal between Aurora and Coca-Cola.