CBD in Food: Leading futurologist casts predictions
Food futurologist Dr Morgaine Gaye leans against a white wall wearing a black suit blazer

CBD has forced its way into several industries in recent years. From food and beverages to cosmetics to the wellness space and experiences. With regulation as a novel food in the not so distant future, leading food futurologist Dr Morgaine Gaye shares predictions for CBD in food in 2022 and beyond. 

The UK has become a hotbed of CBD-infused everything in recent years, including food and beverage items. However, this presented a problem for regulators in 2019 in both the UK and EU.  The consumption of CBD oil and edibles coupled with its rapidly increasing popularity as a wellness trend led to concerns among the food safety authorities.

At the time of writing, CBD brands which make ingestible products were waiting for the Food Standards Agency to publish a list of approved UK brands for sale under the novel foods directive. 

This legal situation has brought CBD-based innovation in the food and beverage category to a halt, as retailers wait for the green light from the FSA and its European counterpart to resume selling CBD-infused food and drinks without risk.

Market analysis published by the Brightfield Group for Europe in 2020 appears to confirm this, as other methods of consuming CBD have evolved in popularity amid the novel foods stalemate. 

Credit: Brightfield Group European CBD Report 2020

Dr Morgaine Gaye makes predictions about the food sector by studying past and current trends, revisiting history and exploring cultural factors which inspire growth. When it comes to CBD, this leading food futurologist is excited for the future.

“CBD is one of the many component parts of what we’re looking at in terms of food and benefits – behavioural benefits or mood state benefits” says Dr Gaye.

“Typically, we take a lot of trends in this country from the East and West Coast of the US. So it’s not surprising at all that anything that happens in the US is often seen as on trend and very forward-facing in relation to health and wellness.” 

Is there longevity for CBD in the food market?

What will consumers want from their food in 2022 and beyond? Will CBD have a role to play as a novel food? Dr Morgaine predicts that CBD will be just one of the big players on the ingredients list because of its purported wellness benefits.

“With food, it’s no longer good enough that it tastes good. It’s going to have to have added benefits. It’s all in that nootropic space. I think CBD will just be one of the things here, I don’t think it’s a lone player. There are lots of other things in the marketplace that will be vying for that space or partnering with CBD.

“It’s about brain altering effects, a heightened awareness, positive physical output, energy, focus – foods that give us any added benefit that make us better at being ourselves. CBD is just part of that picture, I think it’s a long term thing in all foods.”

Ingredients to watch out for in 2022

Leading food futurologist Dr Morgaine Gaye

Among the trends to watch out for is a combination of magnesium and vitamin D with CBD in ingestible products like tinctures and oral supplements. Dr Gaye attributes these predictions to the popular consumer needs already in circulation as a result of the pandemic – relaxation to de-stress and maintaining good overall health.

Entering the third year of the COVID-19 era, the food industry expert envisages a shift in consumer priorities, predicting less interest in protein-based products and more of a desire to protect general health. 

“Magnesium for relaxation and vitamin D for health maintenance. We’re coming away from the protein trend and we’re going into the protection and immunity trend.”

What about the wellness aisle? Does CBD have a future in the vitamin and supplement space?

The food futurologist thinks not, predicting more of a focus on sourcing benefits from whole foods rather than man-made products. “With vitamins it’s more complicated – I think people are looking to food to be the vitamins space. The wellness focus is going off the pills and going onto food. People want the best with every mouthful.” 

We’re coming away from the protein trend and we’re going into the protection and immunity trend.

Dr Morgaine Gaye, food futurologist

Trends to watch out for in 2022

Dr Gaye predicts the cannabinoid CBD will feature in more mainstream skin and body care products, moving away from niche gels and salves and into the realm of popular body and face creams used by the masses on a daily basis. She also sees a future for other forms of skin suitable products, such as fabric.

“Maybe [also] hemp fabric, but fabric with imbued ingredients like caffeine and other things that we put on our skin which can be absorbed into our bloodstream, so what we have on our clothing will make a difference to our overall wellbeing.’’