Former Danone R&D director helps launch CBD shots

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

The range is composed of three functional products: Focus, Amplify and Balance, each with a unique flavour profile
The range is composed of three functional products: Focus, Amplify and Balance, each with a unique flavour profile

Related tags: Drinks, Npd, Ingredients & nutrition, Regulation

Former Danone research and development director Dr Ketan Joshi has worked on the development and launch of a range of ready-to-drink (RTD) shots infused with cannabidiol (CBD).

In addition to his post at Groupe Danone, where he worked until September 2005, Joshi also served as European technical brand manager at Masterfoods (Mars Confectionery) and R&D manager at Unilever. He is now the owner of The Natural Food and Drink Company, which offers co-packing, co-manufacturing and product development services for food clients.

Joshi and Gemma Colao, managing director of OTO, worked on the OTO CBD range together.

The 60ml products contain 50mg of CBD, providing the recommended daily dose in one hit. The collection is composed of three distinct functional products: Focus, Amplify and Balance, each with a unique flavour profile.

Botanical extracts 

Each shot is blended with a composition of natural botanical extracts and purified water, designed to enhance wellbeing and balanced nutrition. The drinks can be enjoyed on their own or as mixers in low or no-alcohol cocktails.

They contain less than 0.2% THC, which is the current legal requirement. A spokeswoman for the brand said the shots could not make distinct health claims, because CBD currently fell under EU Novel Foods legislation, although the European Food Safety Authority was reviewing this classification​.

“In terms of health claims, the Ayurvedic botanicals in each of the shots have their own unique benefits … By law, we can't make bold health claims around CBD per se. However, we have done extensive consumer studies that have shown that people who used OTO regularly saw improvements with their anxiety, sleep and productivity.”

‘Natural ingredients’

Colao said: “We are dedicated to exploring new ways for customers to incorporate CBD into their daily rituals and discover the incredible benefits of the natural, high-quality ingredients and botanicals. Our new RTDs are a simple and enjoyable way to get the perfect dose of CBD, whether it’s taken as a shot or mixed with a cocktail."

OTO’s portfolio boasts a collection of high-quality, high-concentration CBD products, including roll-ons, pillow sprays and cocktail bitters. 

Joshi added: “We have undertaken extensive research and trials to determine the optimum daily dose of CBD to ensure our customers are getting the maximum and inherent benefit from all our products.

Improved sleep, reduced anxiety

“Our continuing trials with CBD have proven fantastic results, with users experiencing incredible benefits from improved sleep, better concentration and reduced anxiety as a result. We are confident our new RTDs will encourage more people to make CBD a simple, yet effective part of their daily routine - and reap the benefits of improved overall health and wellbeing. 

“As with all our products, the ingredients have been guided by Ayurvedic principles and are responsibly and ethically sourced, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.”

The herbs, spices and botanicals used in OTO products are carefully sourced from small families in the Himalayas, who hand-cut and naturally dry the ingredients before they are brought to the UK to undergo a two- to three-week process, which extracts the functional ingredients into liquid form.

OTO was established in 2018 by founding director Gemma Colao and a group of friends with expertise in the fields of science, manufacturing, design and business.

Other companies promoting beverages containing CBD include Relax-Brands-owned Drink 420​.

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