Drinks containing cannabidiol (CBD) could be massive at British pubs within the next few years, with brewing giants such as AB InBev investing in research into producing the drinks.
As it stands, consumer research shows that while pubgoers are enthusiastic to try CBD products, there are a lot of misconceptions around the product.
According to research from The Grocer and Harris Interactive, 36% of consumers wrongly believed CBD can get a drinker ‘high’.
Almost half (42%) of those surveyed were unsure what was meant by CBD.
This confusion comes despite a third of consumers saying they would buy food and drink products containing CBD.
For a CBD product to be legal in the UK, it must contain 0.2% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content or less – the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
Hop & Hemp Brewery Co spokesperson James da Silva says CBD products fit into a trend of pubgoers wanting to cut down on their alcoholic intake.
He told The Morning Advertiser: “Pubs are having to offer better non-alcoholic options. Drinks containing CBD are an excellent choice for those going alcohol-free to unwind without the negative connotations of alcohol.
“Drinkers can take the edge off, with no more hangovers.
“We will see pubs stocking more CBD drinks options, such as Hop & Hemp Brew Co, as a low-calorie, low-alcohol alternative for those who aren’t drinking.”
Staying in control
Growing demand for low-and-no alcohol beer inspired the brewing of the product, and the nascent popularity of CBD goes hand in hand with drinkers ditching high-ABV drinks, da Silva said.
He explained: “When we started developing Hop & Hemp Brew Co, we wanted people to be able to drink the beer they know and love without the negative repercussions of alcohol.
“So, first of all we made a great tasting alcohol-free beer. Then, we added the natural CBD element to allow drinkers to take the edge off but stay in control.
It is not just the health-conscious Millennial who the brewery is eyeing as a target demographic, da Silva explained.
“This audience (the young and health conscious) have been championing CBD since it first arrived in the UK.
“However, a range of other demographics are starting to use CBD to ease-up from their busy lives: new parents, older generations, the career-driven, fitness-focused and image-conscious.”
The brewery plans to educate a wider audience about CBD as it develops as a brand.
“Hopefully, soon everyone will be drinking and enjoying CBD craft brew on the nights they would like something a little less heavy than a traditional beer.”
When asked where a pub should start with stocking CBD, da Silva said the most important thing was staff training.
He said: “There isn’t anything pubs need to set up to start stocking CBD drinks, other than ensuring the staff are educated and ready to talk to customers about the products.
“Having a menu on the bar that explains in a concise way what CBD is serves as a good way to educate customers on the product.
“On our PoS, we include a few simple points on CBD such as such as ‘CBD offers a natural way to unwind, anytime’ and ‘Take the edge off and stay in control’.
“It’s also a good idea to circulate a simple fact sheet to bar staff so they feel confident talking about it to customers.
“The brand ambassador from the product you are selling should be able to provide pubs with this. It’s also a good idea to ask the brand ambassador to train staff. This way they can ask any questions and ensure they are marketing the product correctly.”