How Coca-Cola Could Market a Marijuana-Infused Beverage
What would marijuana-infused beverage marketing look like? If it comes from Coca-Cola, known for originally containing cocaine, perhaps the message would be transparent.
Bloomberg News reported yesterday of Canada’s third-largest pot company:
“Aurora Cannabis Inc. led pot stocks higher after Coca-Cola Co. said it’s eyeing the cannabis drinks market, becoming the latest beverage company to tap into surging demand for marijuana products as traditional sales slow.”
Marijuana-infused beverage marketing may be easier than it sounds. Coke would be using the “non-psychoactive ingredient” in marijuana, called CBD and known for treating pain. Sounds familiar.
“Coca-Cola was named back in 1885 for its two ‘medicinal’ ingredients: extract of coca leaves and kola nuts. Just how much cocaine was originally in the formulation is hard to determine, but the drink undeniably contained some cocaine in its early days.”
Perhaps the cannabis-infused drink would be named in a similarly descriptive way — matching Coke’s branding?
Plus, the pot-infused drink could be marketed for more than just pain. Bloomberg News reports:
“While marijuana remains illegal at the national level in the U.S., there is growing acceptance of the use of CBD derived from marijuana to treat illnesses ranging from chronic pain to anxiety and epilepsy. The first-ever medical treatment derived from a marijuana plant will hit the U.S. market soon, after regulators in June gave an epilepsy treatment by GW Pharmaceuticals Plc the green light.”
The top hit on Google for cannabis-infused drinks shows Coke may be the biggest brand entering the market. Competitors, according to The Travel Joint, are Dixie Elixirs, Sprig citrus soda, Zasp, BrewBudz, Mirth Provisions, CannaPunch, Pot O Coffee, Keef Cola, Bud Brothers Apothecary and Happy Apple.
But unlike these drinks and the possible Coke-affiliated beverage, Coca-Cola doesn’t contain the named “medicine” any longer. Snopes says Coke got rid of cocaine in 1929.
But if the cannabis-infused drink does happen, Coke probably won’t change a descriptive name even if the beverage eventually has no bud.
What do you think, marketers?
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