DEERFIELD, ILL. — While a number of start-ups already have started selling cannabidiol (C.B.D.)-infused foods and beverages despite a lack of federal regulation, major food and beverage companies have been reluctant players to this point. Executives with Mondelez International and Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V. this week expressed a “never say never” attitude regarding the potential launch of C.B.D.-infused snacks, while cautioning that any potential product launches are still unlikely in the near term.
In a May 1 interview with Sara Eisen of CNBC on the station’s “Squawk on the Street,” Dirk Van de Put, chief executive officer of Deerfield, Ill.-based Mondelez International, said the company has “been exploring” the C.B.D. craze.
“Our view on it is that we have a number of family brands, Oreo would be an example, so we feel a little bit hesitant about doing anything with C.B.D. in family brands,” Mr. Van de Put said. “But we have other brands or new brands that we could do. So, we have been looking at it. The space is not clear. I think it is a bit clearer in nonfood products. In food products, I’m hoping that the F.D.A. will bring some clarity in the coming months. So, we have been looking at it. We have also been looking at what are the claimed benefits from C.B.D. And, yes, we are getting ready, but obviously we want to stay within what is legal and play it the right way. But I do think that C.B.D., which is the alternative of T.H.C., which doesn’t provide you the high and so on, but which has a number of very interesting health benefits, I do think that that will be something that will enter the main food space in the not so far future.”
Meanwhile, Fred Penny, president of Bimbo Bakeries USA, Horsham, Pa., acknowledged in a May 2 conference call with analysts that there is definitely “a lot of noise” around the potential to add C.B.D. to snacks.
Mr. Penny said that while “seemingly everybody is selling C.B.D. somewhere,” Bimbo has no imminent plans to put it in any of its products.
“I guess having said that, never say never, but it’s certainly not on our radar screen in the near term,” he said.