Natural Hemp Company bets on CBD sparkling water positioning itself as the 'Gatorade of CBD beverages'

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: Day One
Photo: Day One

Related tags: Hemp, Cbd, Sparkling water, Fda

Natural Hemp Company CEO Chris Clifford believes the next big category to hit the food and beverage market will be CBD-infused sparkling water. And the company is positioning its first CPG brand, Day One CBD Sparkling Water, as an everyday beverage that fits into an active lifestyle.

Natural Hemp Company, a vertically-integrated hemp and CBD manufacturer, launched Day ONE CBD Sparkling Water​ earlier this month. Day One CBD Sparkling Water containes 20mg of broad spectrum hemp extract. 

“You're seeing a new era in CBD products specifically because of the 2018 Farm Bill that was passed by Congress and signed into law ​[although the FDA noted that this did not authorize the use of CBD in foods, beverages and supplements],​ Clifford said.  

Natural Hemp Company went with sparkling water as its first consumer brand because of the category's rapid growth.  According to recent Nielsen sales data, dollar sales of sparkling flavored water were up​ +15.4% in the 52 weeks to July 13, with sales up +8.5% in the latest 12 weeks, and +8.2% in the latest four weeks.

Natural Hemp Company CEO Chris Clifford says, "We're taking the existing demand for sparkling water and coupling it with the massive curiosity in CBD products to give consumers a new type of sparkling water that allows you to focus without the high.” 

NaturalHempCompanyCEO_ChrisClifford

“We're taking the existing demand for sparkling water and coupling it with the massive curiosity in CBD products to give consumers a new type of sparkling water that allows you to focus without the high,”​ said Clifford.

Clifford also claims that CBD-infused water offers a higher bioavailabilty compared to other CBD product formats.

“… CBD-infused water has a much higher bioavailability than other CBD products like edibles and inhalables,”​ said Clifford, who claimed that with a CBD edible product like a gummy, a person may only be able to absorb 20%-30% of the CBD at most. 

​[As an oil-based compound] CBD isn't naturally water-soluble, but we're able to convert our broad-spectrum CBD into a water-soluble product that can be easier for the body to absorb. At its most basic level, the human body is able to absorb CBD that's been infused into water at a much higher level than CBD oil due to the increased rate of metabolization of water,”​ said Clifford.

While Clifford did not reveal the process by which CBD is converted into a water-soluble product, he did claim that the brand is able to achieve 80% bioavailability of CBD in its sparkling waters.

'We're positioning ourselves as the Gatorade of CBD beverages'

Clifford said the company is targeting active consumers and positioning the product as a beverage that supports an active lifestyle. 

“There's a tendency in the CBD consumables sector to make it seem like CBD is just marijuana without the buzz. A lot of the messaging out there suggests that you should use CBD to take a break,”​ Clifford said. "We want to do the opposite."

Clifford continued, "We're positioning ourselves as the Gatorade of CBD beverages. We want our customers to think of Day One as enhancing their daily routines and Day One can make that happen in a format that has zero calories, no sugar, and no carbohydrates.”

What's next for CBD sparkling water?

Given the regulatory uncertainty around CBD, some brands have been cautious about launching CBD products such as sparkling water into the market.

For instance, New Age Beverages last week announced​ that it would be delaying the rollout of its CBD-infused beverages until the FDA clearly defines CBD’s regulatory path forward as a food, beverage, or dietary supplement ingredient.

However, like many other smaller, privately-held companies navigating the CBD market, Day One CBD Sparkling Water is forging ahead with its plans to become a national brand. Several other CBD-infused sparkling water brands have also launched within the past year including Colorado-based Weller​, Sweet Reason​, and Recess. 

“In terms of the FDA, it appears that they're moving towards approval of CBD products for beneficial use,”​ said Clifford, adding that the comments made during the FDA’s public comment period on the regulation of cannabis and cannabis-derived were “overwhelming positive, including those from consumers and larger industry groups.”

Day One CBD sparkling water products are packaged in 12-fluid ounce cans and available in lemon, grapefruit, mango, lime, and watermelon flavors. The company added that it expects to be sold nationwide in select 7-Elevens, natural foods stores, and big-box retailers.

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