Tinctures like those offered by Social CBD remain predominant for mainstream grocery consumers
The cannabis category offers a wealth of inventive products, some of them quite unexpected.
According to Eivan Shahara, partner and president of The Mint Dispensary, a medical cannabis dispensary with two locations in Arizona and expansion plans in Massachusetts and Michigan: “Brightroot, the parent company of The Mint Dispensary, is one of a handful of companies in the U.S. working to develop innovative products that fill undeniable gaps in the retail sector, including ready-to-consume beverages and powder-packet products. This complements products we have already developed, including ramen noodles, gourmet packaged snacks and baked goods that are exclusively available in dispensaries to card-holding patients.”
Adds Shahara: “The next big growth opportunities for CBD products in grocery could be the beverage aisle and the vitamin/supplement aisle. We likely won’t see CBD in foods at the grocery store – but could see it in beverages, supplements and infusions.”
For his part, Ari Sherman, president of Boulder, Colo.-based Evo Hemp, predicts that “consumers will be looking for cannabinoid-fortified products across many categories, including beverages, bars and chocolate.”
Indeed, wellness, including edible products, appears to be the cannabis segment whose innovations grocers might best leverage as they continue to navigate a rocky regulatory landscape.
“Brands like Rebbl have made functional foods and beverages popular, and CBD-infused beverages should be no different,” observes Steven Hoffman, managing partner at Boulder-based marketing communications firm Compass Natural LLC and editor of the "Let's Talk Hemp" newsletter. “For dietary supplements, while tinctures remain predominant, for mainstream grocery consumers, capsules, gummies and other more familiar delivery systems will be important.”
Offering such products may prove highly profitable for food retailers.
“There are two new demographics primed for grocers: current CBD consumers looking for trusted, familiar sources, and potential CBD consumers seeking lower prices and easier access,” explains Angelo Lombardi, president of Portland, Ore.-based Sentia Wellness, maker of Social CBD, which has many new products, both ingestible and topical, rolling out at major retailers across the country this year. “This low-hanging fruit is the future for CBD products in grocery stores. We are excited about this new customer base because it has the potential to redefine the supermarket’s margin base.”