Well, I guess that we shouldn’t be surprised that PepsiCo would follow Coca-Cola’s interest in the cannabis industry. If there is money to be made in a new beverage sector, there is no way that Pepsi was going to cede all of it to their biggest competitor. Forbes recently covered Coca-Cola looking into the marijuana market:
Long gone are the controversial days of Coca-Cola infusing cocaine into its popular product, now they’ve turned their attention to cannabis. The dominant soft drink maker may have the chance to make cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive chemical found in marijuana plants, infused drinks for the masses.
Coca-Cola owns more than 500 brands around the world and reported annual revenue of $35.4 billion in 2017, down 15.5% from the same time last year. Weak sales and the ever changing consumer palate, has forced the company to find growth in other areas. They have been making investments in their international markets along with new beverage ideas, such as an alcoholic offering that’s only available in Japan.
BNN Bloomberg reported the company is in “serious talks” with Aurora Cannabis to develop CBD-infused beverages. Coca-Cola and Aurora would likely develop beverages that will ease inflammation, pain and cramping.
CNBC covered Pepsi following in its rival’s footsteps:
PepsiCo is taking a hard look at the cannabis industry as other beverage makers explore the market.
“I think we’ll look at it critically, but I’m not prepared to share any plans that we may have in the space right now,” Chief Financial Officer Hugh Johnston told Jim Cramer and Sara Eisen on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street on Tuesday.
Cannabis, which is federally illegal in the U.S., but legal in some states and in Canada, has attracted increasing attention from food and beverage companies as either an opportunity for future growth, or conversely, a threat to their brands.
While Coca-Cola and PepsiCo won’t be pushing the envelope by selling cannabis-infused beverages in the states (and Washington, D.C.) that have legalized cannabis, so long as federal prohibition remains the law of the land. However, it is entirely possible that Big Soda will look into the growing CBD market or could even seek a project with a Canadian company to take advantage of the market in the Great White North that will open up on October 17th.
One thing is for certain, various industries are seriously looking into the cannabis industry. While these major corporations can be a double-edged sword, their involvement, or even potential involvement, add momentum to the legalization movement and open up more markets and opportunities for cannabis investors and entrepreneurs.
Learn the latest about the cannabis industry and network with top investors and entrepreneurs from around the globe at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco, California, on February 7-8, 2019. Get your tickets by January 18th to save on early-bird pricing.