Another year, another fascinating trend is sure to take over the market. At Northwest Naturals, we embrace new trends, especially those that push the envelope and improve the quality of life for consumers. Over the last few years, we’ve seen health become a top priority for many across the globe. Naturally, food and beverage producers have created products to meet this demand, and so, we saw an increase in health-conscious products, including low-alcohol and low-calorie beverages, as well as a surprising rise in non-alcoholic beverage consumption [read our blog post to learn more about non-alcoholic beverages]. Another trailing surge in popularity has been in drinks that improve health, physical performance, or that are mood-enhancing. This is precisely what we foresee as the newest trend in 2022 – functional food and beverage items that provide a full experience that alters the way you feel and think.
We are seeing this mood-altering trend specifically in CBD-infused beverages, food items, and various wellness products, aiming to provide a relaxed or focused state of mind. While CBD has been around for a long time, it only entered the food and beverage world in the last 10 years and has only taken off in the past few years. CBD is a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant used for its relaxation qualities. Though there continues to be confusion and caution surrounding CBD as the FDA does not regulate and legally allow CBD to be added to food and beverages. Many consumers see it as an unregulated space and do not trust its safety or authenticity. However, that does not stop companies from creating their CBD-infused products. There are many popular CBD products in the market.
NWN provides Juice Blends that are used in CBD products, such as carbonated beverages and gummies. However, we do not actively work on the CBD component itself. Instead, we work with the customer through the R&D process until the product is finalized. We have used creative Custom Juice Blends for these projects, ranging from fruit and herbal blends to fruit, citrus, and tropical flavors. There’s much room for experimentation in the flavor profiles. If you are looking to create a product within this range, contact us! We’ll be happy to walk you through the steps and find the best blend to meet your desired taste.
Since there is hesitation about the quality and safety of CBD coming from a cannabis plant, companies are searching for alternatives that are not sourced from hemp. Instead, citrus oils are seen as an alternative that may be safer to use.
In general, the trend of offering a mood-altering or performance-enhancing experience through “regular” food or beverage items is gaining in popularity. In fact, we are seeing more customers looking for blends to go into functional beverages and launching new mood-altering lines. For example, we’re working on applications that can create relaxation or help you sleep and others that boost energy and increase focus. While some brands embrace these products as an alternative to alcohol, others prefer it to be viewed as a healthy item that provides clean energy and focuses better. An early adopter of this trend is a mushroom coffee that provides minerals believed to help you stay focused and help with brain cognition. Another unique application is an ice cream that is to be enjoyed at night to help you sleep or calm you down. This looks to be marketed towards pregnant women who may have trouble sleeping later in their pregnancy, with a unique dill pickle flavor to meet cravings!
We are looking forward to seeing how these trends evolve and rise in popularity. If you are interested in creating your own CBD-infused beverage or functional application, contact us! We would love to collaborate with you to develop a new leading product within this up-and-coming space.