2022 Trends Part 2 – Cannabis, Getting Frisky, and Robotic Intel (AI)
Your source for the most up-to-date information on emerging beverage trends.
Recreational cannabis use is legal in 18 states and decriminalized in 13 others, making accessibility easier for those who want to experiment or already prefer the effects of marijuana to alcohol. As THC regulations continue to relax across the U.S., we are forecasting a slew of new products that contain varied amounts of THC, CBD, CBG and other cannabinoids appearing in both retail and foodservice establishments. The leaves that contain more than .3% of THC are classified as marijuana, and those with less than .3% of THC fall into the hemp bucket.
Although there is still a gray area around formulating with cannabis-derived ingredients, brands like Cann, a sparkling RTD that includes both spiked (THC) and un-spiked versions, are gaining traction, continuing to expand their offerings, and have collected multiple celebrity endorsements. Cann is backed by Adam Devine, Nina Dobrev, Rebel Wilson, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
While the past two years have brought on stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders, U.S. adults are seeking out beverages, supplements, and foods that claim to aid in mood regulation. In 2021, products that support sleep, stress, and mood management grew by 19 percent from the year prior (in U.S. sales), reaching an estimated $2.5 billion in total.* Younger generations have been drivers behind the idea of self–care and paying attention to their mental health. 2019 research uncovered that 53 percent of Millennials showed intent to increase their happiness by focusing on balancing their bodies and minds.*
*Technavio, 2021. *IRI, 2021
In 2021, Nightfood repackaged their line of ice cream to include the phrase “Sleep Friendly” on the front of every carton. While their ingredients did not change, this reframing is an effort to capitalize on the growing demand there is for food and beverages that target the sleep support need state. Consumers are also demanding products that help with getting in the mood in the bedroom, and we have noted more products suggesting a romantic undercurrent or overtly offering support for increased sexual satisfaction.
Companies are utilizing artificial intelligence to support innovation and more efficient operations. Artificial intelligence technology in the food and beverage market is expected to reach $29.94 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 45.77 percent from 2021.* Through predictive flavor analysis, increasing logistical efficiencies, and enhancing new product development, AI technology is finding new avenues for improved manufacturing and development methods in food and beverage.
Santiago based alt-dairy company, NotCo introduced their AI-generated beverage to the U.S. market in late 2020 and are pursuing new avenues for gaps in the plant-based space. NotMilk by NotCo is a plant-based milk alternative that uses their proprietary AI technology, Giuseppe, who relies on an algorithm that understands the molecular components and characteristics of food combinations to replicate animal products. We also expect marketing efforts to benefit from this technology (Tastewise is already expediting decision making) as a way to predict consumer needs before they know what they want.
*Innova Market Insights, 2019.