- Two Roots Brewing now has non-alcoholic versions of its craft beers, making it the first manufacturer worldwide to offer one brand in three channels — alcohol, no alcohol and cannabis — according to a release emailed to Food Dive.
- Two Roots will introduce five non-alcoholic varieties — with lager, IPA, wheat and seasonal styles — in individual cans and six packs at all BevMo locations in California next month and will later expand nationwide.
- Alcoholic versions of Two Roots beers will also expand nationally in the coming months, the company said. The new beers join the Two Roots line of non-alcoholic THC-infused craft beers by Cannabiniers, a cannabis brand management company.
Many beer companies focus on alcoholic, non-alcoholic or cannabis infused versions of their beverages, but typically not all three. Two Roots may be forging a path to increased popularity with this trio of approaches and a way to appeal to different types of consumers.
Offering new non-alcoholic versions of its beers could allow the company to tap into a rapidly expanding market category. Although non-alcoholic beers make up only 5% of beer volume sold globally, the segment has grown an average of 3.9% for the past five years compared with just 0.2% for traditional beer, according to a report from GlobalData cited by Axios.
Michael Hayford, CEO of Lighthouse Strategies and owner of Cannabiniers and Two Roots, said in the release alcohol-free is "one of the fastest growing global trends." But Two Roots will have competition as more big beverage companies have been introducing these non-alcoholic varieties into their portfolios amid struggling sales.
For Two Roots, making non-cannabis and non-alcoholic versions of its craft beers allows it to distribute products more broadly beyond California and Nevada dispensaries. It can also sell regular beer at its taprooms and retail locations. Additionally, Lighthouse Strategies has been acquiring craft breweries, which could feature these new beverages.
Whether other cannabis-infused beer brands will follow Two Roots down this same path will likely depend on how well these new beverages do for the company. Given the time and expense to come up with new products, it seems more likely that big beer companies will continue to shift into infused varieties as a way of differentiating from their core brands and appealing to millennials.
Lagunitas Brewing, part of Netherlands-based Heineken, makes SuperCritical IPA with aromatic marijuana terpenes, which is available in California. Ceria launched its THC-infused Grainwave in Colorado in December. Others — such as Molson Coors, Constellation Brands and AB InBev — are investing in the Canadian market, since retail sales of these products will be legal there nationwide in December.
Two Roots' strategy going forward should benefit from some recent additions on the Cannabiniers side of Lighthouse's business. Former Constellation executive Marty Birkel and former PepsiCo executive Michael Lorelli have joined its board.
These beverage industry veterans can be counted on to help steer the company into increasingly interesting and profitable waters as it looks to further diversify its brands — including Two Roots — from the ever-expanding competition.