Late to the party, Molson Coors-Hexo JV looks to spark buzz about jar drinks – Article

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After months of delays and quality checks, the joint venture between Molson Coors Brewing Co. and pot producer Hexo Corp. has finally launched a full line of cannabis infused drinks on the Canadian market. Now Truss Beverages Inc. needs to get the word out.

New Truss CEO Scott Cooper said he was forced to take a more nuanced approach to launching jarred drinks to consumers, with a fraction of the marketing resources the company would have if it sold another drink on the market. . Cannabis companies have strict restrictions on how and where to advertise their products, which limits their reach.

“We’re going to do everything we can to connect with consumers, through our website and social media,” said Cooper, who recently assumed the role after a stint as head of Global Innovations at Molson. “Word of mouth is going to be very important in building this category. ”

The company launched five new brands of jar drinks that will be available nationwide on Tuesday, with a total of 16 different drinks with varying amounts of THC and CBD. Previous Truss management said its products would be available for sale as early as last December, but Cooper said production delayed the company’s equipment in Belleville, Ont. the installation delayed product deployment.

While Truss isn’t alone in the challenge of marketing new cannabis products to consumers who have used marijuana through more traditional means, Cooper said the company wants people to think of the drinks. in jars are just another kind of adult drink, without getting hooked on cannabis. as an ingredient. He cites a study commissioned by Truss that shows 71% of Canadians are interested in using cannabis in a social setting, but not in a smokable way.

“At Truss, we think we are more like a beverage company than a cannabis company,” he said. “We come to ‘What are the drink occasions and how can cannabis be part of them?’ ”

The potential market remains important despite the late arrival of Truss at the party. Similar offerings from Canopy Growth Corp., Aurora Cannabis Inc. and A1 Cannabis Co. are already on store shelves. A recent report from Deloitte estimated the Canadian cannabis-infused beverage market to be $ 529 million, although recent projections from Canopy executives set a significantly higher value.

“We are still in the early days of the development of this category and I think back to the 1920s, when alcohol was banned and this market has evolved a lot over a hundred years,” he said.

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