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Kolibri Drinks scraps CBD in non-alcoholic RTD cocktail revamp

London startup Kolibri Drinks has overhauled its range of non-alcoholic RTD cocktails, with the brand notably ending its relationship with CBD.

They first launched in 2020 with two premium offerings – Dark Forest and Citrus Grove – which were positioned as CBD-infused, alcohol-free cocktails. Both variants came in a bottle with a cap containing 20mg of broad-spectrum CBD suspended in flavoured syrup, allowing consumers to choose the strength and flavour of their drinks.

However, the brand have decided to remove CBD from their products, with Kolibri co-founder Kamila Sitwell revealing on social media that, in her experience, innovating in both the low & no and CBD spaces at the same time can be a difficult and pricey undertaking.

“One thing I learnt from my entrepreneurial journey is that championing an innovative concept in an emerging category is tough and very expensive,” she said.

“Playing in Low & No Alcohol and the CBD space at the same time, where both categories need an insane amount of patience and consumer education (read: massive marketing budgets), is not something I’d recommend.”

According to The Grocer, while Kolibri have abandoned CBD, it may well be a temporary move as the brand are looking to achieve novel foods certification, with Sitwell also saying that UK supermarkets “are not ready to stock CBD drinks yet.”

Kolibri’s new cocktail lineup, which arrived in Harrods on 19th May, includes Tales of Tuscany: Sparkling Berry & Juniper Aperitivo; Tales of Marrakesh: Sparkling Cardamom Baharat; and Tales of Somerset: Sparkling Elderflower & Lime Spritz (rsp: £4.80/315ml).

Each comes with a bottle cap containing blue agave syrup that allows the consumer to sweeten their drinks to taste.

Tom Gatehouse
Tom is the editor of Pure NPD Insights. He previously spent three years at William Reed’s food insight platform Food Spark, was the co-founder and editor of The Cream, is a former Restaurant magazine columnist and has had chef training in fifty of the best restaurants in the UK and Europe.

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