Solving for CBD’s funky taste before beverages can go mainstream

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Mainstream consumer goods companies continue to throw out their fears of the cannabis industry and instead are embracing all things CBD (cannabidiol.) Last week it was the shoe chain DSW (NYSE: DSW) that signed on with Green Growth Brands (CSE: GGB) to sell its CBD products in the shoe stores. Today Tilray announced it was going to work with Authentic Brands and provide the CBD for its over 50 brands of goods.

These companies are pursuing topicals for skin like foot creams, lip balms, and muscle rubs.  CBD beverages though also show great promise for big brand companies. Cannabis research company Brightfield Group said in 2019 to look to continued CBD growth in mainstream retailers and more CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies are entering the space.

The beverage company New Age’s announcement of plans for a new line of CBD-infused beverages – a reveal that caused stocks to surge 528% is a sign that CBD is banging down mainstream products doors said Brightfield.

The only problem is that CBD tastes, well, funky. It’s usually described as having a bitter, earthy taste that takes some getting used to. The key to getting CBD beverages accepted by mainstream consumers will is fixing for the taste problem.

Seattle-based Tarukino developed an emulsion technology called Sorse. that has solved for consistency and taste by encapsulating cannabinoids in a water-soluble form that is odorless, tasteless and dissolves in water.

“The cannabis beverage industry today consists of products that smell like cannabis, taste bad and have an effect onset that takes longer than 20minutes. Tarukino solves all these issues,” said CEO Howard Lee.

The company has teamed up with California-based Caliva to bring cannabis beverages to the market. Caliva already produces flower, pre-rolls, and vapes and is known for its wellness options. Its products focus on motivating the mind, steadying the body, and inspiring creativity. Now it’s tinctures and beverages will use Tarukino’s technology in an exclusive agreement.

“After extensive due diligence, we are confident that Tarukino is the right nano-emulsion technology company to partner with,” said Dennis O-Malley, Caliva’s CEO.

According to sales rankings this past summer from Headset, the Caliva ranked as a top brand across its three product categories: pre-roll, flower, and vaporizer. In the pre-rolled joint category, Caliva led the rankings in the top five slots with its House Doobies, Dogwalkers, Super Sessions, and Toasties. In the cannabis flower category, the top four spots belonged to Caliva as well, with the company’s breakout hit Reef Leaf taking the top slot.

“Our rankings have become a key indicator of quality and scale in California,” says Cy Scott, CEO of Headset. “The category, segment, brand, and product trends continue to tell the narrative of the growth in the California cannabis market, and looking at real-time sales data, Headset is identifying which companies are establishing themselves as the major brands as this market evolves into the world’s largest cannabis economy.”

The first beverages are expected to be available for purchase in the first quarter of 2019 in the San Jose store.

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