Nearly a third want CBD drinks in venues

A new report investigates UK adults’ evolving relationship with cannabis.

A new report has revealed that 31% of consumers are likely to order CBD-infused drinks in pubs and bars, if they were available. 

According to new research from consultancy KAM Insight and High & Dry, nearly one-in-five UK adults have tried a CBD-infused drink (19.4%), with a further 28% saying they haven’t, but would be interested in trying them in the future.

The research was released via a new report – The Future of Socialising: What’s next for the dry economy? – which investigates UK adults’ evolving relationship with cannabis (THC and CBD), alcohol and other mood-altering substances. 

Feedback from 975 adults defined as ‘psychotropic-curious’ identified that the reason people use psychotropics mirrors the patterns traditionally associated with alcohol. Helping to relax (70%), relief from anxiety (60%), socialising with friends (58%) and to unwind after a busy day (57%) are the main drivers consumers gave for using these mood-altering substances.

These substances are currently most likely to be consumed at home (77%), although 64% say people are likely to use them at events (such as gigs, festivals, comedy nights) and 31% in pubs and bars.

Generation Z are much more likely to have tried CBD-infused drinks, with 38% having tried them and 10% consuming regularly, compared with 4% of the national average.

Change is coming?

"The way that Brits are socialising, including their relationship with alcohol, is changing," says Blake Gladman, strategy and insights director at KAM. "We know from recent research that UK adults are drinking less alcohol, less frequently and that although there are financial drivers, 47% of people say that ‘mental wellness’ is a significant driver for moderating their alcohol in-take.

"So, with global alcohol consumption in decline, this research looks at what the future alternatives are likely to be and how they’ll impact the food, drink and hospitality industry and will help businesses navigate this transformative era.”

The report points out that 10 of the biggest alcohol companies in the world already have cannabis investments. For example, Molson Coors Brewing Company partnered with Hydropothecary, a Canadian cannabis producer, to explore opportunities in the non-alcoholic cannabis beverage market; while Heineken launched Hi-Fi Hops, a THC-infused beverage available at select medical marijuana dispensaries in California through its American brand Lagunitas.

"In the US, 37 states have legalised medicinal cannabis, two states have embraced therapeutic psilocybin, and more substances are on the horizon," says Daniel Rowntree, founder of High & Dry. "Switzerland opens its first dispensaries in 2024; Germany opened up its legal cannabis market in April this year; and trials continue in Holland. This report is a beginners guide to help educate and empower UK businesses by assessing consumer demand, predicting evolution and understanding the industry. Change is coming."

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