Edible Arrangements introduces line of CBD products – Food Dive

Dive Brief:

  • Edible Brands is introducing a line of hemp cannabidiol snacks and treats later this year under the Incredible Edibles brand. The CBD-infused items will be sold in Edible Arrangement retail locations and the company’s new Gifts & Treats Edible stores, the company said in a release.
  • Founder and CEO Tariq Farid said in the release it will introduce its first Incredible Edibles store next year, with its initial product being a proprietary full-spectrum, hemp-based, non-psychoactive CBD powder. He said the company also plans to enhance its online presence.
  • This launch came as Edible Brands announced an organizational restructuring consolidating retail, e-commerce, technology and supply chain operations under one umbrella. Farid is reassuming the CEO role of all companies.

Dive Insight: 

Edible Brands is one of many companies eyeing the lucrative CBD space. According to research from the Brightfield Group, U.S. sales of CBD products will hit $5 billion this year, a staggering 706% leap since 2018. Even if that projection is too optimistic, the profit potential is luring many food and beverage companies to enter the space.

Edible’s founder and CEO, Tariq Farid, seems to be approaching the segment differently than other CBD product manufacturers. He’s setting up Incredible Edibles with a franchise model similar to Edible Arrangements that will allow the business to grow, process and sell CBD-infused items. The company’s decision to control the process throughout the supply chain could be a key advantage in this rapidly evolving market. However, Edible will need to make sure it is complying with any state or national laws in place or it could soon find itself in serious legal trouble.

„We will take the slow, methodical road,” Farid told Forbes. „We could easily start selling CBD products and doing what everyone else is doing, but we think there’s some goodness to be done here and the opportunity for a long term journey to prove out the right practices and build in the right places.”

This cautious route could be the best one, given the murky regulatory climate for CBD in the U.S. Although states are increasingly legalizing the substance, the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved CBD for nationwide use in foods and beverages. Hemp and its derivatives are no longer classified as controlled substances since the 2018 Farm Bill, but the FDA’s position has been that cannabis and CBD can’t be legally sold in conventional foods or dietary supplements.

Edible Brands hasn’t released specific details on the types of CBD products it intends to launch, although it mentioned snacks and treats are likely to be forthcoming. Since the first effort will be a full-spectrum CBD powder, potential applications could be extensive.

Edible Arrangements noted on its website that its hemp CBD „can be infused with our fresh fruit smoothies and chocolate dipped fruit, but that’s only the beginning.” These new products, once they’re available, could fit right in with the rest of the Edible portfolio since customers could order them online and pick them up in the company’s retail outlets.

It’s also possible consumers will eventually send Incredible Edibles items in gift arrangements the same way they do now with Edible Arrangements’ fresh fruit baskets. The company may be anticipating this prospect since its website has a place to enter an email address and be notified when hemp CBD items will be available in a particular area. The company will likely have to extensively plan for that given the varying regulations depending on the state. 

Incredible Edibles is already working with local growers and the University of Connecticut to grow, test and process 20 acres of hemp, according to Forbes. After that, the company will develop shelf-stable products and introduce its franchise model. Subsequent plans call for the first retail location — patterned after the juice bar concept — to launch in Connecticut next year. With the future of CBD far from certain, Edible Arrangements is moving forward with a plan to capture share and grow its business if the segment continues to take off in the United States. 

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