One of the country’s biggest beverage companies is jumping into the cannabis space.
This week, Molson Coors Beverage Company launched a new line of sparkling water infused with hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD), called Veryvell. The products, available exclusively in Colorado, are made and marketed under its subsidiary, Truss CBD USA, and mark the beer giant’s first foray into the United States cannabis sector.
Veryvell sparkling water comes in three flavors — grapefruit-tarragon, strawberry-hibiscus and blueberry-lavender — and each 12-ounce can has 20 milligrams of CBD. As with all CBD products, it doesn’t come cheap: An eight-pack of 12-oz. cans sells online for $35, and a 12-can variety pack is $50. Truss sources its CBD from Colorado-grown hemp and works with a Denver manufacturer to produce its beverages, said general manager Jane Armstrong Hockman.
The CBD comes as a liquid that is infused into the sparkling water with natural flavors and adaptogens, or plants that help the body regulate stress. Each flavor features two different adaptogens, such as ginseng or elderberry.
“Now more than ever, consumers are creating new routines around the wellness area,” she said. “So we spent a lot of time in research in development trying to find the best adaptogen combinations, and the best adaptogen combinations with CBD.”
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Veryvell is Molson Coors’ latest venture as part of a concerted effort to diversify its portfolio of products. In 2016, the company dove into the craft market by snatching up independent breweries in Texas, Oregon and Georgia, and the following year, doubled-down on its efforts in the non-alcoholic sector. In late 2019, the company changed its name from Molson Coors Brewing Co. to Molson Coors Beverage Co. to underscore its shift away from being synonymous with beer.
“Part of that strategy is getting out of the beer aisle and in areas like wine and spirits, non-alc and cannabis beverages,” Armstrong Hockman said.
Among its myriad of offerings are hard sodas and seltzers, and the company also secured a distribution deal for an energy drink co-created by entertainment icon Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. That is set to hit the market in March.
CBD is an attractive sector is because of its nascency. Craft CBD-infused, non-alcoholic seltzers, like one produced by Longmont’s Left Hand Brewing Co., and CBD sodas are not new to Colorado. Truss launched here first because there’s already a regulatory infrastructure, said Armstrong Hockman. However, there’s plenty of room for the market to grow.
“As we look at the non-alc category, CBD beverages and the ‘better for you’ space is one of the growing segments. So we do think there’s quite a bit of opportunity,” she said.
She declined to discuss expected revenue for Veryvell’s first year on the market.
In 2020, Molson Coors stood up a Canadian branch of the Truss subsidiary, though it acts independently of the one in the United States. In Canada, the company sells not only CBD-infused products like Veryvell, but also drinks infused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in marijuana.
Armstrong Hockman said she is not actively exploring the THC space because marijuana is still federally illegal in the United States. However, she is not ruling out the possibility should the plant be legalized nationwide.
Veryvell is now available at more than 125 retailers in the Denver area. Coloradans can also order it online and have it shipped to them free anywhere in the state.
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