Cannabis in the Wellness Space

Cannabis in the Wellness Space

Image Source: Mondo   With recreational marijuana legalized in 9 states, and medical in 29, there’s been a huge influx of cannabis infused food products. But customers are chasing more than just a high these days – cannabis is more commonly being used as an ingredient in wellness forward brands. Enter a world of well curated, function-focused brands which feature THC, CBD and hemp as ingredients to fulfill a variety of purposes.   Image Source: Kikoko The combination of cannabis with other healing foods can create effective natural remedies for everyday maladies. By using different levels of THC (the compound responsible for the high), and CBD (which helps to alleviate pain, anxiety and other issues), products can be formulated for specific purposes. Case in point, Kikoko offers a line of cannabis infused teas which are individually created to reduce pain, aid sleep, increase libido and boost mood. Prominent call-outs on the packaging specify whether the product contains low, medium or high THC levels so that the consumer may make an informed decision about what kind of effects to expect. Similarly, Stillwater’s cannabis teas and coffee are marketed as “The Natural Way to Manage Daily Stress”, and are prominently labeled with THC content on front of package (a low 2.5MG dose). Mondo is cannabis sold in powder form, allowing the consumer to precisely measure the dose they’d like to consume in order to experience natural anxiety relief, without sacrificing the alertness and productivity necessary to carry out daily tasks.   Image Source: Weller Many of these products lend themselves to regular use, much like a vitamin or other natural supplement – often,...
Premium Snacks Increase in C-Stores

Premium Snacks Increase in C-Stores

When stopping by a convenience store for a snack, it’s typical to be met with a selection of processed, sugar laden and high sodium choices. Big food brands have dominated these spaces for as long as we can remember. However, as consumers are leaning toward more online retail options, c-store shelves are starting to make room for more products that cater to individual lifestyles. Staples like jerky, sports drinks, coffee and candy remain stable in the space, but more premium alternative options are being introduced to the mix. Personalization is shaping the future of the convenience food industry. Fresh food options are getting dressed up from the highly processed clamshell packaged sandwiches and microwave burritos typically found in convenience stores. Retailers like GetGo and Wawa now offer made-to-order fare for any time of day – all accessible via touch screen kiosks. Even airport retailers are upping the quality of their offerings. No longer limited to conventional snacks and chain meal options, travellers can now expect a wide variety of curated foods at CIBO Express Gourmet Markets. CIBO embraces established and emerging brands alike for a premium food and beverage experience on-the-go. In addition to being threatened by online retail, c-stores are experiencing direct competition in the form of Bodega – a fledgling company which sets up location specific pantries that appeal to the demographics of those particular areas. “The idea is to preempt what people might need, then use machine learning to constantly reassess the 100 most-needed items in that community.” (Fast Company) This would negate the need to visit a storefront, as the most demanded product per location...
Interact’s Top 100 Foods to Eat in 2018

Interact’s Top 100 Foods to Eat in 2018

As we settle into the new year, food choices are at the front of everyone’s mind. The internet is a alight with buzzwords like juicing, keto, paleo and vegan. If you’re already feeling burnt out on the foods available to you, not to worry – we’ve rounded up 100 of our favorite “better for you” brands. From pasta alternatives to superfood snacks, there’s sure to be something to satisfy every tongue and tummy. The titles are linked to the company websites so you can find out where to buy them, wherever you are. Cheers to a delicious new year from Interact! 1. 9 Meals from Anarchy Veg Stock  2. Adam’s Organic Cold-Pressed Chocolate 3. Ancient Harvest Pow! Pasta Meals 4. Bare Snacks Apple Chips  5. Beyond Meat Beyond Burger 6. Bhakti Chai 7. Biena Chickpea Snacks 8. Birch Benders Pancake & Waffle Mix 9. Bobo’s Oat Bars 10. Bolthouse Plant Protein Milk 11. Boom Chicka Pop 12. Boulder Canyon Chips 13. Brami Beans  14. Brew Dr. Kombucha 15. Bulletproof Collagen Protein 16. Chirps Cricket Chips 17. Chobani Yogurt 18. Cucina & Amore Quinoa Meals 19. Delighted By Dessert Hummus 20. Dirty Lemon Detox 21. Doctor D’s Sparkling Probiotics   22. Dry Soda 23. Emily’s Fruit Crisps  24. Enjoy Life Soft Baked Cookies 25. Epic Jerky Bites 26. Essential Living Superfood Trail Mix 27. Evo Hemp 28. Evol Frozen Foods 29. Fire Cider 30. Food Should Taste Good Chips 31. Forager Cashewgurt 32. Four Sigmatic Mushroom Tea 33. Gaia Herbs Golden Milk 34. Good Grain 35. Harmless Harvest 36. Health-ade Kombucha 37. Hilary’s Casserole Bites 38. Hippeas 39. Hodo Soy Noodles 40. Hope Foods Kale Pesto 41. I Heart Keenwah Quinoa Puffs 42. Inspiral Kale Chips   43....
Interact Category Specialists: Shelf Stable Beverages

Interact Category Specialists: Shelf Stable Beverages

Standing out among the competition in a category such as shelf-stable beverages is daunting to say the least. However, there are certain brands who are paying attention to the mass movement of consumers away from sugary and artificial beverages and toward shorter ingredient lists, healthier choices, and options that have functional and added dietary benefits. Three emerging trends from the past couple of years are ready-to-drink teas, carbonated juices and waters as well as taking the cold-pressed phenomenon out of the refrigerated section and into the middle of the store. (Image Source) RTD TEA With ready-to-drink tea sales projected to be $9 billion by 2020, up from $7 billion just five years prior, its needless to say that the tea category is booming. Major players like Starbucks, Steaz and Nestea have all taken notice and are anteing up with new packaging, new products and reformulation. Starbucks recently rolled out a RTD version of Tevana to select retailers in hopes to capitalize on this trend. Nestea, always a major player in this category, has paid particular attention to market demand when they recently reformulated their tea to have a mix of sugar and stevia as well as removing any artificial flavors. With the majority of consumers actively searching for “no sugar added”, “organic” or any type of added health/functional benefit all companies, big and small are taking notice.   (Image Source) CARBONATION With the trend moving more toward organic and natural beverages, brands are constantly trying to find ways to set themselves apart – what better way to do this than to add a little sparkle. Cawston Press and Spindrift...
Matcha Leads the Mindfulness Movement

Matcha Leads the Mindfulness Movement

Matcha, a finely powdered green tea, is an ancient beverage first used for ceremonial purposes in China and Japan. The vibrant drink has expanded into many different cultures over the years, which has made way for all kinds of experimentation. Similar to the way masala chai grew to be a household name in the U.S., matcha has evolved from its humble yet strong beginnings into a wide array of new foods and drinks. It’s become approachable enough for the Western palate that that we’re now seeing it in excess. “Green tea lattes” are available in many coffee shops. It’s an ingredient we’re often seeing pop up in decadent desserts. And it’s being introduced as an ingredient in unlikely yet innovative combinations.     Many companies have marketed matcha in a ready to drink form, most often touting its many benefits. This finely ground green tea has been praised for being antioxidant rich, and noted for the simultaneously calming and alert sensation it provides. When bottled, chilled, and enhanced with other flavors, it’s an easy choice to reach for a matcha over coffee in the refrigerated RTD section of a grocery store.      Traditionally, the preparation of matcha calls for time and care. It requires a set of tools, the powdery tea itself, and hot water. The entire process takes only a minute or two, with the drink meant to be consumed quickly. Matcha is steeped in ritual above all – taking a few moments to focus on brewing a serving of tea for oneself, creating a sensory few moments of mindfulness in your day. Many have taken to making space in their day for matcha, in a society where the search for energy often...
Packaging Haul 12: October Edition!

Packaging Haul 12: October Edition!

Welcome to another round of the Packaging Haul! With Halloween just days away, we’re in the mood to stick to a special, festive theme. Hope you’re stocked up on candy and costumes for this one. We promised there are no tricks here – just treats.   1 – Black O’Lantern by Wasatch Brewery In a sea of orange labels decorated with photos of pumpkin patches meant to evoke warm feelings of falling leaves and a chill in the air, Black O’Lantern, an imperial stout with a hint of pumpkin, is not afraid to be the bad apple (or pumpkin, rather) on shelf.  With a stark black background, menacing jack-o-lantern face and a carved jagged die cut carrier, Black O’Lantern is a brew that unabashedly stands out among the competition. – Kelley 2 – Moonstruck Haunted House Moonstruck Chocolate from Portland has crafted these beautifully crafted Halloween chocolate truffles, each with a unique filling. This limited edition find is sold in a house (or is it a coffin?) shaped structure that you’ll want to hold onto even after the treats are gone. – Abby 3 – Teavana Pumpkin Spice Brulee Fall is about more than Halloween. We all know that Pumpkin Spice ties for being the real star of autumn. Teavana has created a tea that adds a little bit of caramel, butterscotch, and vanilla to make it that much better. With lively illustrated pumpkins on the orange canned packaging, this is the perfect tea to accompany colorful fall days. – Lindsay 4 – Frozen Ghost Vodka Frozen Ghost Vodka is the epitome of spooky packaging. The “ghosted” figure in the background is provocative and has a chilling aura. Thin, sans serif typography is also used in different weights and sizes...