The CBD market in the U.S.—referring to hemp-derived cannabidiol—could be a $6 billion industry by 2025 when considering legalized sales of food and beverage products containing CBD from hemp, according to Nielsen.
Within the U.S., non-consumable CBD products have been appearing on shelves within major retail outlets. Some consumers are finding CBD from hemp appealing for the natural benefits of the cannabinoid compound without tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound found in cannabis. Yet unlike areas in the U.S. where marijuana is legal, edible products containing CBD from hemp remain regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While the legal environment for selling edible products including CBD from hemp currently is murky and complex, many consumers and companies are taking a close look at the potential for this market.
Last week, the FDA began hearings examining the potential deregulation of CBD from hemp within food products. This potential legalization of edible CBD from hemp could have a major impact on the U.S. consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry; particularly for the snack and confectionery category.
This suggests a sizable opportunity for CPG snack and confectionery manufacturers within the CBD space. Shoppers are increasingly seeking out snacks with added health and wellness benefits. Lockstep with this smart snacking trend, some believe that adaptogens and botanical hemp extracts that naturally contain CBD could be the next big trend in snacking.
Some future CBD consumers may look to CBD-infused food offerings to enhance focus, relaxation and to assist in promoting their general health and wellness. For others, consumption may be geared toward targeting specific ailments, according to Nielsen.
One caveat regarding the opportunity edible CBD from hemp presents is that the market is in its infancy in the U.S. In addition, it’s incredibly volatile given factors such as changing state and federal regulations, supply issues and retail/manufacturer and consumer sentiment and acceptance. It is critical to recognize that the market size prediction is just a snapshot vision of what the future could look like and is certainly subject to change based upon newer information.
Despite the uncertainty of future regulations, CPG food and drink companies should prepare for the next phase of opportunity as more states legalize cannabis and laws governing CBD from hemp evolve.