Cannabis soon could become more popular than cola.
The U.S. legal cannabis industry is projected to reach $75 billion in sales by 2030. According to the research firm Cowen and Co., that figure is almost as large as the soda industry’s value today.
But the future of the two markets seems destined for two different paths. Analysts expect cannabis markets to continue growing while concerns over health and sugary drinks likely will lead to a continued downward market trend for the soda industry.
Cowen and Co. previously suggested the U.S. legal cannabis market would be worth $50 billion by 2026. They now believe that estimate may be too conservative.
“New forecasts suggest that the market is already that size,” Cowen and Co. analyst Vivien Azer said according to Bloomberg.
The soda industry’s decline has been predicted by market analysts for some time now. In 2016, soda consumption hit a 31-year low. The soda market in North America fell from $78.3 billion to $76.4 billion in 2016.
Soda may not be the only beverages on the decline in the age of legal cannabis. In states with legalized cannabis, binge drinking has been declining. In Aspen Colorado, legal cannabis sales outperformed liquor sales in 2017.
“We have consistently argued that cannabis and alcohol are substitute social lubricants,” Azer said.
While the news for soda producers may not be encouraging, there could still be good news on the horizon. As the cannabis industry increases in sales and popularity, an increase in demand for different infused products has emerged.
This could make for a perfect union between cannabis and carbonated drinks. There are already cannabis-infused soda producers such as Keef Cola and Sprig. These companies are prepared for the future markets that seem poised to demand healthier options than sugar-filled soft drinks. Sprig offers a sugar-free soda and Keef Sparkling has no calories.