The snack food giants behind Oreo and Cadbury have revealed that they are considering launching a CBD-infused snack item. Mondelez, which is also behind American snack foods like Chips Ahoy, Ritz, and Nutter Butter, teased customers by announcing that they could potentially be developing a snack food infused with cannabidiol, as interest in CBD-infused food and drinks products continues to be a major consumer trend.
In an interview with CNBC, Mondelez CEO Dirk Van de Put said: “Yes, we’re getting ready, but we obviously want to stay within what is legal and play it the right way.”
Unfortunately for consumers, a clear definition of what is “legal” when it comes to CBD in food and drink products is currently under contentious debate in the U.S. Although hemp-derived CBD was legalized in many state on a federal level in 2018, a CBD-based medication was previously approved by the Food and Drink Authority (FDA), which has complicated its status as an ingredient in food and drink products.
The FDA currently does not differentiate between legal hemp-derived CBD and higher potency medical-grade CBD, which has created a huge legal grey area since FDA regulations prohibit the addition of active drug ingredients to food and drink products.
Because of this regulatory mishap, food service establishments across the U.S. stocking CBD-infused food and drink products have faced fines and infractions, while some have had thousands of dollars worth of stock confiscated.
Growing demand for ‘wellness’ products
Despite the nation-wide crackdown, CBD-infused food and drink continue to be a huge consumer trend within the larger ‘wellness’ movement. Other large corporations such as Coca Cola have also indicated that they are exploring CBD, although no official announcements have been made without a green light from the FDA.
Company officials stated “Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world. The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time.”
If Mondelez is to launch a CBD snack food, Van de Put has indicated it would likely be an entirely new product as opposed to a CBD version of their established, family-oriented products such as Oreos.
Van de Put also predicted that CBD would hit the mainstream food and drink market in the “not-so-far future”, assuming federal health officials establish clear guidelines for businesses to create CBD-infused products.