Advancing the Infused Beverage Space: SoRSE Technology
With the cannabis beverage market poised to grow rapidly, companies specializing in infused emulsions are creating business models and partnerships that are revolutionizing the industry. Kent Gruetzmacher asked SōRSE Technology CRO John Kueber for his take on the future of cannabis beverages.
As the cannabis/hemp space continues to mature through both legalization efforts and business expansion, new market niches are born from consumer demand. These evolutionary “branches” that grow within the impetus of market progression are vital in building, as well as stabilizing, a new industry. Within this schematic of growth and innovation, SōRSE Technology of Washington state has identified a unique and profitable niche within the cannabis/hemp beverage vertical — that of cannabinoid-infused emulsions.
In looking at the cannabis and hemp business holistically, there is a complex string of business relationships that are born out of the supply and demand principle.
Interestingly, these relationships are formed along a timeline that manifests when a seed is planted and progresses until an end user finally purchases a polished, branded product. In between the genesis and conclusion of this product’s lifespan, businesses work in unison with one another to prepare it for sale. Generally speaking, these relationships define business to business (B2B) operations in the cannabis and hemp space. As the industry matures, pioneering companies like SōRSE Technology identify ways to profit within this network of B2B relationships.
To help Maximum Yield Industry News get a better feel for SōRSE Technology and their market niche with infused emulsions, we reached out to their CRO John Kueber. Our conversation proved quite informative and opened our eyes to an intriguing new facet in the cannabis/hemp supply chain.
The SōRSE Technology Business Model
The SōRSE Technology business model arose by identifying a real market need for quality, consistent, and reliable infused beverages using water-soluble emulsion technology for cannabinoids. According to Kueber, the company began about three years ago, when they helped launch “some of the first THC beverages in Washington state.” Moreover, as they entered the marketplace, SōRSE quickly achieved distinction among both peers and clients. Kueber tells us, in short time they “wound up servicing 30 leading [cannabis and hemp] brands.”
It’s important to note SōRSE Technology’s business plan is not as simple as creating infused beverage drinks and selling them to consumers. Quite differently, Kueber explains, they produce water-soluble cannabinoid emulsions that are then sold to THC and CBD drink manufacturers. These companies, in turn, mix SōRSE Technology’s ingredients in their beverages before taking them to market. At this point in the game, SōRSE is considered a leader in their field, as they “power three of the top four CBD beverage brands in the marketplace.”
Looking at the infused beverage market, SōRSE Technology populates an interesting niche within the supply chain. With this model, they are, in effect, creating another step in the supply chain between cannabis/hemp growers and infused beverage customers. This niche arose out of the fact that the process of making quality and reliable infused beverages is far more difficult than one may think.
The SōRSE production process begins with the outsourcing of top-shelf distillates, which they only procure from the most reputable sources. After receiving the distillates, Kueber explains, SōRSE Technology then “tests and retests them for heavy metals and pesticides.” With favorable test results in hand, the SōRSE team sets forth convert the oil-based cannabinoid into a water-soluble emulsion that seamlessly integrates into standard beverage production processes and holds up to the demands of modern retail beverage industry.
As seen with the early days of many famous entrepreneurs, obsessive behavior is often the most direct path to success. The SōRSE Technology team is no exception to this rule. Case-in-point, Kueber tells us, “All we think about is cannabis emulsion.” In taking this dedication to their chemistry work, a major line of inquiry for their team involves asking “How do we get cannabinoids to be homogeneous and stable at room temperature?” Without understanding the proper chemical balance, Kueber explains, cannabis beverages can easily begin to “separate while sitting on the shelf.” To this end, devising a careful balance of form and function and applying it to taste and stability is at the forefront of SōRSE processes.
Expertise in commercial production and manufacturing is where SōRSE has succeeded and many have failed. As Kueber tells us, “A lot of people don’t realize that if you put oil [directly] into a beverage, it doesn’t work out so well.” By creating a new stage in the infused beverage supply chain with emulsion work, SōRSE makes commercial production viable and profitable for infused beverage manufacturers. Even more, in following this methodology, SōRSE Technology ensures their clients’ drinks are “fun, safe, and easy to consume.”
The SōRSE team is also focused on cannabinoid emulsions that deliver desired effects to consumers. This notion is especially important in the hemp-derived CBD space, where poor manufacturing and low product quality have plagued the market for years. Conversely, Kueber explains, drinks powered by SōRSE Technology ensure that cannabinoids “show up in the bloodstream … quickly.”
As the cannabis and hemp business continues to progress into a legal industry, it presents unique market opportunities that can only be seized through creativity and innovation. For their part, SōRSE identified and populated a rather obscure branch of the industry focused on infused beverages — and found success. With an established list of fruitful partnerships among notable beverage brands, it seems that this creative approach could already be paying real dividends.
Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and the federal legalization of hemp, many CBD product manufacturers have scrambled to meet the demands of a rapidly changing market. While SōRSE Technology has not been immune to the stressors that come with these changes, their dedication to quality puts them in a good place with new FDA regulations on the horizon. For their part, SōRSE is onboard with these market changes, Kueber tells us, because federal approval makes “larger retailers comfortable carrying” CBD infused products.
Looking to the future of the infused beverage industry, SōRSE Technology sees sustained business coming from the wellness vertical. According to Kueber, many of these people are “not necessarily looking to get high.” Rather, “they want to be able to consume CBD … in a safe and reliable way.” On that note, companies like SōRSE Technology are leading the way in innovative practices and quality products that have pushed mainstream interest in hemp and cannabis to an all-time-high.