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CBD new product frenzy amid consumer confusion

November 5, 2019 | 2 min read

Sitting at a new products conference recently in Chicago, I wasn’t surprised to see CBD on the agenda. Actually, would’ve been surprised had it not been on the agenda. What I did find fascinating is despite the lack of a regulatory framework and widely varying opinions on an appropriate CBD serving size (speakers suggested 10 to 30 mg), food and beverage industry interest seems insatiable.

While it’s actually still not technically legal to put CBD in food and beverages, you’d never know it by looking at all the new food and beverage product introductions containing CBD. The market is excited by its prospects, and consumers assume CBD-containing products are regulated by FDA, even though they’re not. Welcome to the Wild West where everyone is trying to figure out how to capitalize on the promise of CBD, and the general public is intrigued but fuzzy on details.

Hazy consumers

An October Natural Products Association poll found more than half of the 1,000 respondents did not know the FDA “has not approved any safety, purity manufacturing or ingredients standards for CBD, meaning that all CBD products are illegal.”


  • 67% didn’t know or weren’t sure CBD products being sold today are illegal
  • 41% wrongly assumed FDA had already developed safety standards for CBD

In results from another recent consumer study – this one from the Grocery Manufacturers Association – despite the fact that more than a third of the sample had purchased a CBD product:

  • 92% incorrectly assumed or had no idea whether CBD is federally regulated
  • More than half think CBD has the potential to intoxicate

Among the more than six in 10 familiar with CBD through awareness or experience:

  • 39% believe CBD is another name for marijuana
  • More than half believe CBD can intoxicate those who use it

How this will all shake out remains to be seen. In the meantime, I’m going to sit back, enjoy some fruit.

At Tree Top, we believe everyone deserves good food. You can be assured that Tree Top ingredients are made with the same high quality standards that we put into our own retail products. Tree Top fruit is proudly grown and processed in the U.S. with traceability from farm to formulation. We work with our growers to provide transparency and traceability from the field to the shelf, bridging the gap so people can understand where and how their food is grown. Visit our video resource library to learn more.

Tree Top is not currently developing products with CBD, however, our wholly-owned subsidiary, Northwest Naturals can help you with formulation and development for your next CBD product. Blending market awareness with advanced technology, their research and development team is renowned for developing formulas to meet specific flavor profiles, color, texture, nutrition, and stability. For more information, visit

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