Savvy CBD marketers are finding success in the traditional independent natural products retail channel despite regulatory hurdles.

Source - Hemp Business Journal
Author - Steven Hoffman, Compass Natural Marketing

As the world awakens to the benefits of consumer products made with phytocannabinoid hemp extracts rich in cannabidiol or CBD, traditional independent natural products retailers are seeing the most success as sellers of these products.

So, too, are the manufacturers serving the natural channel that are committed to quality, efficacy, sophisticated marketing, and strict compliance under the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA).

New Hope Network’s Expo West (2015) drew 70,000 people and Cannabidiol and other hemp related products were on full display for sale and sample.

In addition to states where cannabis is legalized, since 2014, 17 States including conservative states in the South and Midwest have legalized CBD, the non-psychoactive cousin to cannabis’ active ingredient, THC, prompting independent natural products retailers across the country to carry dietary supplements, personal care products, hemp oil-infused beverages and snacks, and other CBD-fortified products at the behest of their healthy lifestyles customers.

In fact, for independent retailers competing in today’s market where mainstream supermarkets are commanding an increasing market share of natural and organic product sales, the CBD consumer products market represents a brand new growth category, and an opportunity for independent natural retailers to distinguish their stores from the competition.

“There is real interest and awareness among customers in the natural channel who have heard about the benefits of CBD and what hemp products can do in terms of a therapeutic effect in dietary supplement form and also in products applied to the skin for muscle aches and inflammation,” said Sarah Shebanek, Wellness Buyer for Alfalfa’s Market, an independently owned natural products retailer with stores along Colorado’s Front Range. Alfalfa’s carries CBD brands including CW Hemp, Restorative Botanical, CBDRxBlueBird and others.

This story is featured in full in our CBD Report.

“Looking across channels at the 52 weeks ending August 7, 2016, we see  phytocannabinoid products containing the ‘Primary Functional Ingredient’ with $1,344,646 in sales, up 1,463.63 vs. YA (year ago), on an admittedly very small base. Almost all of those sales (97%) are coming from the Natural Channel,” said David Winter, Director of Business Development for market research firm SPINS. The firm, a Nielsen partner that specializes in the natural and organic products channel, named CBD oil as one of the ingredients to watch in its 2016 Trend Watch report.

“I am extremely excited about this new product category opening up,” said Peter Brodhead. “Word of mouth is driving the market. People are getting good results and telling others about it,” said the independent retailer, who, with his wife Janie, has owned and operated Brighter Day Natural Foods in historic downtown Savannah, GA, since 1978. The Brodheads themselves take CBD supplements to help with sleep, and their store offers customers a variety of dietary supplements and whole-plant extract products, along with educational CDs filled with peer-reviewed information and third-party literature that Peter and his staff burn themselves to give away to interested customers.

“We have just touched the tip of the iceberg of the potential of what this category can offer people. As a retailer, I love when people get results; it changes the quality of their lives. That’s what drives me and my business,” said Peter, who noted that Brighter Day’s CBD product offerings, including a variety of products from CV Sciences (formerly Cannavest), feature hemp oil extracts containing “every known compound found in the entire hempstalk…and at price points that make it easy for consumers to try out,” he added.

Engredea Editor Todd Runestad, who has been following the CBD market closely for natural products media leader New Hope Network, publisher of Nutrition Business Journal, Natural Foods Merchandiser and Engredea, and producer of Natural Products Expo East and West, the world’s largest natural and organic products trade expositions, observed,

“If retailers are going to do this right, they will approach CBD like any new dietary supplement. Be diligent about stocking quality products – ask the same questions of any supplement company to make sure they meet the quality standards you provide your customers. There is a tremendous opportunity for one-on-one education, and to bring the beneficial properties of CBD to the masses”

For manufacturers seeking to avoid the scrutiny of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “Make quality product that matches the label, and don’t make disease claims. Above all, follow the letter of the law,” Runestad advised.

Want to know more about cannabidiol and the natural products channel?  Purchase the full CBD Report here

Source : Hemp Business Journal- Market Intelligence, The CBD Report