Truss Beverage Co., the joint venture between Molson Coors Canada and Hexo Corp., has announced today to release its first line of cannabis-infused beverages across Canada. The five new non-alcoholic beverages derive their intoxicating effect not from alcohol but from the active ingredients of cannabis.
Molson Coors said in February 2018 to form a joint venture with the medical marijuana company to pursue opportunities to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market following legalization (inside.beer, 2.8.2018). In October 2018, both companies said, they had founded Truss Beverage Company (inside.beer, 16.10.2018).
Truss is an early entrant to the nascent market, which has been growing following the legalization of ingestible cannabis products in Canada late last year. The joint venture between Molson Coors and Gatineau, Quebec-based Hexo marks a further extension of Molson Coors’ beyond-beer ambitions.
“Molson Coors has been innovating in beverages for centuries. As it broadens out beyond beer, non-alcohol cannabis beverages are an exciting new frontier in Canada, and Truss has developed some incredible brands and beverages that are sure to be leaders in that marketplace,” says Pete Marino, a member of Truss’ board of directors and president of Molson Coors’ emerging growth division.
With the launch of five new brands, Truss has established one of the broadest cannabis beverage portfolios in the Canadian market, says Truss marketing lead Chaman Sandhu.
“Truss has a cannabis beverage for multiple beverage occasions, and we want to encourage Canadians of legal age to start exploring and enter our world of wonder,” she says. “This is a whole new beverage category, not just a cannabis category. With the backing of Hexo and Molson Coors, we have that expertise in beverage as well as in cannabis to bring forward a premium product.”
Infused with varying levels of CBD and THC, Truss’ newly released non-alcoholic beverages include:
- House of Terpenes: Limonene and Myrcene flavored sparkling tonics, made with botanically sourced terpene flavors.
- Little Victory: Naturally flavored, light tasting, bubbly beverages available in Dry Grapefruit and Dry Lemon, and two fruit flavor forward sparkling beverages in Dark Cherry and Blood Orange.
- Mollo 2.5 and Mollo 5: Crisp-tasting cannabis beverages with a light hoppy finish.
- Veryvell: A lineup of products that support self-care, including Strawberry Hibiscus and Sicilian Lemon-Flavored Sparkling Waters; Lemon Black Iced Tea; and Cannabis Extract Drops.
- XMG: Non-carbonated, high-intensity flavored beverages in Mango Pineapple and Tropical Fruit flavors.
Sold individually, the beverages began hitting cannabis retailers nationwide this month and can also be purchased online via provincial boards. Truss beverages, produced in Belleville, Ontario, are currently available in Ontario and Quebec, and will continue their nationwide rollout over the next several months.
Truss enters the market as a growing number of Canadians are embracing cannabis in ingestible forms. According to research conducted by DIG Insights, 71% of legal-age Canadians cite smoking as the primary reason they do not consume cannabis, with 74% saying the smell of cannabis on their clothing is an issue. A Truss consumer survey found a growing percentage of legal-age Canadians tried a cannabis-infused beverage so that they could consume cannabis without smoking it.
“Consumers are looking for alternatives at this point,” says Sandhu. “Truss offers something to meet all occasions across the board; we believe that there’s a brand for all Canadian consumers of legal age.”
Surveys also indicate that Canadian consumers are concerned about their cannabis product’s consistency. Truss’ beverages offer a calibrated and consistent experience, unlike many traditional edibles, Sandhu says.
“The No. 1 thing is the consumer experience. Our goal is that this new line of beverages has the best-tasting, most consistent cannabis experience available,” Sandhu says.
The Truss joint venture, and its launch of non-alcoholic cannabis beverages, is Molson Coors’ latest foray into categories beyond the beer aisle. The company rebranded itself in January to underscore its embrace of the beyond-beer products for which consumers are increasingly reaching (inside.beer, 30.10.2019).
The company took its first steps into the spirits category this year in Canada with the launch of Aquarelle, a vodka-based beverage. It followed that up this summer with the release of a hop-infused, non-alcohol brand called Vyne Botanicals.
Molson Coors also inched into the wine category earlier this year in the U.S. with the launch of MOVO Wine Spritzers. And it took a significant stake last year in LA Libations, which makes non-alcohol beverages aimed mostly at health-conscious consumers, such as Zico Coconut Water, Core Water and Body Armor (inside.beer, 18.11.2019).
“The beyond-beer space is so rich for creativity and innovation, and we have a lot of exciting news in the pipeline,” Marino says.
In April, Molson Coors also announced to extend its existing Canadian joint venture with HEXO Corp for the development of non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages to the USA. Truss CBD USA is majority owned by Molson Coors and will operate as a standalone entity with its own board of directors, management team, resources and go-to-market strategy (inside.beer, 15.4.2020).