There is a considerable degree of growth going on within the CBD industry. Growth that will likely only accelerate in the immediate and foreseeable future. As pointed out by Angela Hanson- Senior Editor Convenience Store News- New Frontier Data has estimated that the CBD market will likely grow from $390 million in 2018 to approximately $1.3 billion by 2022. According to Arcview as well as BDS Analytics it is possible that by 2024 we will see CBD sales surpass $20 billion. Google Trends has seen a massive increase in CBD relevant search requests in just the last year.
Whether you are just getting started with your cannabidiol business or have been in operation for years it is vital for you to keep up with market trends and understand what might be influencing them.
Some of these trends could be the result of societal pressures encouraging or enforcing consumer behavior. Other trends could be due to regulations. Both old regulations still affecting the cannabis market today or new regulations that could potentially cause broad, sweeping changes for the marketplace and consumers. There could also be market trends that have been caused by shifts in societal thinking and culture.
Whatever these trends and however they came to be you owe it to yourself and your business to keep abreast of them. Thus you will be able to make better informed business and marketing decisions.
Regulation Induced Trends
During a virtual education session (A Greener Future: CBD and America) for the Tobacco Plus Expo 2021 Priscilla Agoncillo said, “Understanding regulations is very important to success.” Agoncillo is the CEO of Original Breeders League and the president of the Cannabinoid Industry Association. She argued that understanding both the potential of CBD and the regulations governing it are a prerequisite for convenience store retailers to enjoy the ample possibilities of the CBD market.
Due to the 2018 Farm Bill the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has regulatory authority over cannabis-derived products such as CBD. This means the FDA has the authority to not approve drug products of any variety that carry CBD. The only exceptions to this ruling go to specific drugs belonging to Big Pharma. According to the FDA a drug can be any substance made for medical or therapeutic purposes. It can also refer to any substance meant for sale that has been made to affect a body’s structure of function.
As Agoncillo sums up, “What this means is you have to be especially careful with health claims when labeling and marketing your product.”
However Agoncillo also said, “As scientific evidence of CBD’s benefits come to light, the popularity of CBD will increase… The research and findings will lead to new products and new drug development, integration with new technology and delivery systems, increasing recognition of use within the household, and breakthroughs in medicine and therapies.”
There is increasing scientific evidence paralleling the public’s growing acceptance, even interest, in CBDs. As this scientific evidence mounts eventually regulation will have to change with it thus freeing up a great deal of marketing potential for CBD. Until then keep an eye out on past and potential regulations that can affect how you market your CBD-related business.
Brand and Product Diversity
With each passing day new CBD product brands are being established. These new brands of CBD-containing products have been expanding into never-before touched areas of influence for CBD. New CBD products are becoming increasingly specialized. They are being designed to specifically affect pain, sleep, and energy. With these more specialized products marketing strategies can be more targeted and diversified.
The increase of niche markets can also translate into both more competition and more opportunities. Ultimately this means the market is increasing in size.
Niche markets will become more dominant in the marketplace by catering to consumer segments with less competition. The niche, specialized brands will be able to obtain more relevance and exposure because they are more specialized. They will draw in consumers with specific needs corresponding to product brand specializations. This will potentially lead to greater ROI.
An effective example can be seen with the CBD beverage market. CBD-infused drinks have been responsible for at least 60% of new CBD users. By being appealing and convenient CBD-infused beverages could offer a new path to wider and new product markets for CBD-business owners to consider.
Nowadays there is greater weight in CBD products that have a distinct identity. For a time in the early days there were few if any options among products containing CBD. Consumers did not have much in the way of choice due to what was available. This is no longer those early days.
Thanks to the current market (depending on your area) consumers now have a massive amount of choice in front of them. There is a greater than ever need for CBD product brands and the marketing for them to be distinct. To stand out. As now people will make choices and remember products according to their tastes and memories of positive experiences with a product. Make sure your product has a unique brand identity then market that brand.
There is a stark lack of hesitance among consumers when it comes to CBD. The vast majority of consumers have become educated as to the actual effects and benefits of CBD. Thus more people are open to partaking in the ever-increasing ranges of new product brands. New and novel ideas are swiftly accepted by consumers who then use the new products. These consumers of new products can number in the thousands.
Due to education and information promulgation and access cannabis is recognized as distinct from marijuana. Thus CBD products do not have to deal with as much stigma as marijuana (which is a work in progress depending on your region). Even if there still might be some stigma associated with CBD it is being dispelled by the majority.
Distribution You Can Trust
It is an unfortunate truth that in the past distributors have used claims that CBD is some sort of miraculous drug. That it is the ultimate answer to even the most severe maladies. Understandably this has garnered those distributors and many who came afterward a great deal of mistrust and questions as to credibility.
Despite the poor behavior of past bad actors many distributors today have been able to accrue credibility while dispelling the mistrust accrued by others. They have done so by working hard and being responsible with what trust they were able to gain from their earliest clients. Use that credibility to your advantage when marketing your business but do not abuse it.
According to numerous- bordering on majority- consumers microdosing is the most effective way to enjoy the most of CBD has to offer. It has certainly become very popular. Micro-dosing is the newest means of CBD consumption. It is done by taking what was a single dose for the whole day and instead dividing that dosage up to be taken throughout the day in smaller doses.
Micro-dosing is usually done with CBD oils and tinctures. It is possible the popularity of micro-dosing could be due to consumers having an easier time measuring such products into separate dosages according to their needs and mood. Consider this shift in consumer behaviour when producing and marketing products.
Apps and Ecommerce Services
More and more businesses including CBD companies are transitioning to online platforms. Retailers will be able to access a range of themes through such ecommerce platforms as Square and Shopify. In a day or less powerful automation platforms in the vein of Omnisend can assist businesses in establishing consumer and company friendly CBD ecommerce.
Isn’t That Convenient?
Convenience is very important to CBD market growth. Vital even. It is a trend playing out across the market with positive effects. Convenience can mean carefully placed shop locations and easy-to-use purchasing channels. A particularly popular practice has been home delivery. Done consistently and reliably such conveniences can make consumers comfortable. Comfortable consumers are happy consumers. Happy consumers make for a successful company with a popular marketing brand.
There has been a sizable increase in people having to deal with chronic anxiety and stress because of the ongoing pandemic. Thus CBD businesses have an opportunity with this need-state market. Such businesses can promote the potential CBD has in alleviating the strain of both chronic ailments (anxiety and stress).
By using ‘targeted keyword searches’ and ‘relevant content creation’ it is difficult but possible for a CBD company to weave through advertising restrictions.
A survey by Willis Towers Watson found that 66% of US employers regard mental health as 2021’s highest clinical priority. According to 92% of employees in another Willis Towers Watson survey they have reported suffering varying levels of anxiety going back to when the pandemic began. In the same report 55% of employees shared experiencing moderate to high degrees of anxiety. Seven out of ten employees state their productivity has gone down thanks to COVID-19-based anxieties.
Even with the advent of vaccines it is unlikely we have seen the end of the pandemic any time in the near future. This means stress and anxiety will continue to be a prominent issue for everyone including workers. Which means there will be a greater need for CBD businesses to focus on producing and marketing products that potentially offer relief to chronic stress and anxiety.
Some of the CBD market trends of 2021 were a long time coming. Inevitable thanks to technology as well as shifts in public thought. Some trends are longstanding relics unlikely to be moved in the immediate future such as regulations. Then there are trends that have been brought about by innovation or worldwide tragedy.
By knowing and understanding these trends hopefully you will make better informed decisions when it comes to the direction of your products and marketing them.