July 5, 2019 -- InvestorsHub NewsWire -- via NextBigTicker.com
A meatless hamburger infused with Cannabidiol (CBD) is around the corner as North American Cannabis Holdings (USMJ) and Kali-Extracts are poised to capitalize on the plant-based protein alternatives market in partnership with West Coast Venture Group, Corp (WCVC). The three companies are targeting the intersection of the US$16 billion CBD sector and the US$9.5 billion plant-based protein sector with the introduction of the hamburger this summer in the US.
The plans signal the direction toward CBD-infused food which has been gathering momentum throughout this year having been tipped to be one of the hottest overall US culinary trends of 2019 by the US National Restaurant Association.
Already a market recognized leader in healthy and holistic food, WCVC’s Illegal Burger Restaurants include burgers made with all-natural beef that is never frozen and sourced from suppliers who use no antibiotics or growth hormones. They also serve plant-based options and the company says it’s well past the start-up phase with more than US$3 million in annual sales.
As the plant-based protein alternatives market gathers pace and continues to catch investors’ attention, the companies want to introduce another “differentiator” to the meatless hamburger sector.
USMJ spun its cannabis-themed restaurant off last autumn to capitalize and expand the initiative in a partnership with WCVC. USMJ CEO Steven Rash currently serves as the CEO of both USMJ and the USMJ cannabis-themed restaurant spinoff.
In turn, USMJ is partnering with KALY, the owner and operator of a US Patented Cannabis Extraction Process. KALY is currently utilizing its cannabis extraction expertise in the development of pharmaceutical products. While the introduction of pharmaceutical products is a long-term process, KALY is developing a number of more immediately commercial CBD extract products.
Adding to the list, KALY extract products will be working with USMJ to develop a CBD-infused plant-based protein burger for introduction through USMJ's partnership with WCVC.
The plans for a CBD-infused meatless burger closely follows California-based Beyond Meat launching its initial public offering (IPO) in May. It also comes shortly after Tyson Foods announced a move into meat alternatives by unveiling its first plant-based protein products last month, after selling its stake in Beyond Meat.
Growth of CBD-infused foods
2018 saw huge regulatory gains for cannabis and its derived products, including hemp and CBD, with a host of US states and Canada and, very recently the UK, legalizing the use of medical marijuana in some forms. But now, we can expect to see more of this available to consumers as part of a culinary and dining experience.
Indeed consumer interest in CBD is booming, with CBD-infused products in the nutrition space proliferating at an astounding pace, despite the fact that adding CBD to food and beverages is still not technically legal.
Whether the cannabis extract has proven its potential as a new consumer staple or is slated to become another “has-been cure-all in the supplement aisle,” remains to be seen. However, according to a Rabobank report in May, which takes a hard look at the future of this emergent market in the US, questions still remain about just how mainstream CBD can become amid huge legal ambiguity, with the possibility of a crash existing.
The expansion of CBD applications in food was highlighted by Guilin Layn Natural Ingredients (Layn) during last month’s IFT19 expo in New Orleans, US, where the company debuted its new line of CBD ingredients.
The company invested US$60 million in a US-based cannabidiol (CBD) manufacturing facility, expected to be completed in the autumn of 2020. The new facility is expected to have the capacity to process a minimum benchmark of 5,000 tons of hemp biomass per year, which will yield 160 tons of high purity CBD and 290 tons of full spectrum oil annually.
“We chose to invest in the CBD industry because it is a trending hot topic,” Elaine Yu, CEO of Layn, previously told FoodIngredientsFirst. “Even though this market seems crowded, not very many of these players come from this industry – many are ‘outsiders’ like farmers or extraction equipment manufacturers. From Layn’s perspective as an ingredients manufacturer, we are utilizing our 20+ years of experience and expertise in extraction, agriculture management, sustainable supply chains and understanding food safety requirements.”
Yu also highlighted the emergent potential of CBD in food and beverage formats, where historically, companies have been more inclined towards pills, tinctures or topical delivery formats. At IFT19, Layn showcased two beverage concepts: a cucumber-flavored anti-inflammation drink infused with CBD (roughly 21mg per 200mg serving) and Gotu kola, using stevia and monk fruit as zero-calorie sweeteners; and a fruit-flavored anxiety-relief drink infused with CBD and Rhodiola extract.
Meanwhile, Mondelez is reportedly considering CBD as an ingredient to infuse into its snacking portfolio. Unilever’s Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brand has announced plans to develop a CBD-infused ice cream, and Monster Beverage is also reportedly eyeing the cannabis-infused drinks market. However, all companies highlight that they want to stay well within the lines of legality – meaning a wait for clearer instructions from federal regulators. It seems clear that if an FMCG giant like Mondelez, or indeed Unilever, were to infuse its treats with CBD, the compounds’ hop into the mainstream would be well and truly cemented.
By Gaynor Selby
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Origianl Publication On July 1, 2019 - Republished By NextBigTicker.com