ALEXANDRIA, Va. – While consumers are interested in cannabis-infused foods and beverages, they don’t necessarily trust the safety of commercially made products, according to research by Culinary Visions, a food trends forecasting practice based in Chicago. Trust and traceability are the main issues consumers have, according to the survey, when it comes to foods and beverages containing cannabis ingredients.
Fooddive.com reports that of 2,000 consumers surveyed, just 45% said they would trust the safety of those products. Half of the respondents said they would be more comfortable buying that type of product if a knowledgeable salesperson were on hand. In addition, 42% would prefer buying from a smaller company than a large one, and only 29% said they would trust the quality of such products bought online.
The research found the most popular cannabis-infused products were baked foods, with 48% of respondents interested in trying them. Other interesting items are cannabis-infused candy and gummies (45%), snacks (44%) and non-alcoholic beverages (41%). Half of the respondents would prefer not tasting the cannabis in commercial products, and 47% would consume them for the psychoactive effect.
While the survey shows growing interest in cannabis-infused consumables, it also indicates there are trust issues regarding product safety and quality. Plus, the industry has a history of marketing cannabis supplements as miracle cures, a practice condemned by the Food and Drug Administration. In fact, the FDA is on the lookout for products making unrealistic claims about both CBD and THC, so brands formulating with either cannabis or hemp should be careful about how they market their products.
Last fall, a survey by A.T. Kearney of 1,000 Americans and 1,000 Canadians found that consumers believe cannabis products are therapeutic, but they want to be able to trust the companies that produce them. More than 70% of both nationalities said the brand is very or somewhat important in order to gauge the safety and quality of the products.