During her presentation at the 2019 Sweets&Snacks Expo on five current snacking trends, Marcia Mogelonsky had a secret to reveal, there was a sixth, not quite trending right now, but one that industry analysts are watching going forward: Recreational Marijuana/CBD.
Mogelonsky is Mintel’s director of insight and described the ingredient as a ‘new horizon’.
Recreational Marijuana/CBD is legal in 10 states in the US, and also in Canada as well as sparking growing interest in Europe.
She told the audience that Mintel has carried out an extensive survey on Marijuana/CBD with legal participants. She said it’s of interest because the most popular way to enjoy Recreational Marijuana/CBD is through edibles including chocolate and candy.
Over 50% of users said that edible is their format for use. What does that mean for the industry?
Mogelonsky said Recreational Marijuana/CBD is now confectionery’s ‘frenemy’. “There is going to be lots of room to develop chocolate, gum and candy with recreational marijuana in them and will be a real game changer.”
She said it's especially popular among young consumers, but the main problem is preventing its sale to underage children.
To get around this and stay within the law Mogelonsky said that whole new companies or brands are being created to sell edibles. She stressed that these new treats cannot be ‘kid-friendly’.
“Right now we can’t call it a new trend because there is no real data, it’s still too new,” she said.
Recreational Marijuana/CBD's use in snacking is a tough one to call, said Mogelonsky. “It’s going to be interesting … are we going to start seeing edibles in snacks? Possibly yes, possibly no.”
She said she knew of some companies looking into it and there is an association between marijuana and snacks because of the craving of salty ‘munchies’ among users in the past.
“For salty snacks it’s going to be a ‘frenemy’ situation also, and it’s going to be everyone’s responsibility to keep kids away from it.”
Mogelonsky wrapped up her session saying that going forward Recreational Marijuana/CBD will represent a huge change for the industry.