Miller Lite beer-maker Molson Coors Beverage Co's cannabis joint venture Truss Beverage Co has launched six pot-infused beverages in Canada, as it hopes that summer demand will offset recent sales hits from COVID-19 lockdowns.
Coronavirus restrictions in major provinces including Ontario have forced weed stores to shut for extended periods, and are expected to hit cannabis companies' results for the March quarter.
The summer season, which tends to represent peak demand for beverages, will be crucial for companies to undo the damage.
Truss, jointly run by Canadian pot producer Hexo Corp , launched five CBD-infused beverage brands in August last year and claims to have already won a 43% market share in the category in Canada.
'The Biggest Opportunity'
"Summer ... is the biggest opportunity for the beverage category; it is the inflection point for consumers to try out our products," Truss Beverage's Chief Executive Scott Cooper told Reuters in an interview.
"Cannabis-infused beverages are still new and tend to be an impulsive purchase, so having the store open is important to the trial and awareness of the category," he added.
Truss said its latest beverage line included watermelon, lemonade, sparkling tonic and honey green iced tea flavors, and are expected to be rolled out to retailers over the next few months.
In February of this year, Molson Coors posted a 7.7% decline in reported revenue in the fourth quarter of its financial year, largely driven by on-trade restrictions in Europe and Canada.
The group said that despite the revenue decline, it is making 'strong progress' against its revitalisation plan, which aims to drive long-term revenue and underlying EBITDA growth.