Irrespective of industry growth, consumer demand and the ambitions of many CBD businesses, Grocery chains and CBD products have remained distant of one another. Reluctance from top tier supermarkets to list dedicated CBD lines has come as a surprise to many, why wouldn’t these giants be looking to get on board with CBD when many other high street stores like Boots and Holland & Barrett have delved deep into the CBD pool.
The resounding feeling coming from the world of retail links to trust, more accurately the absence of it when it comes to understanding CBD brands. As an unregulated marketplace CBD companies have an uphill battle when it comes to showcasing their products are safe, reliable and provide consumers with a genuine benefit.
There are some glimmers of hope, certain products have made it through the very complex world of retail listings, notably Love Hemp with their CBD water appearing in Sainsbury’s and Ocado. Dead Mans Fingers Hemp Rum also found in Sainsburys’s is another positive sign for hemp products but none of the big 6 Grocers (Tesco/Asda/Sainsbury’s/Morrisons/Waitrose/Ocado) have taken the plunge on what many would class as the most effective CBD products, CBD Oil tinctures, capsules or topical creams.
These are the products that have driven the industry forward, those that have given users a very big hammer in the fight against anxiety, poor sleep, inflammation and pain management. Why haven’t these companies pushed forward on their own range of CBD products or listed successful brands already present in the market?
It’s more a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ CBD brands will find their way onto the shelves of Grocery brands, but it won’t be until regulations change in March 2021 and Grocers can understand which products are verified as safe.
Novel Foods is the hot topic within the CBD industry, in short it’s a food regulatory testing system that ensures products are safe for human consumption if they can’t show wide spread use prior to 1997. Various products have been through it in recent years, Chia seeds and Stevia have been through the Novel Foods process and have been able to demonstrate that they’re safe.
CBD is now going through this process, with applications due to complete in March of 2021, Businesses that produce and sell CBD are required to file a Novel Foods application and have it verified before the 31st of March to allow them to carry on trading. If they fail to meet this deadline, their products can and will be removed from the shelves by local authorities and businesses.
These factors, combined with a high ticket price make stocking these products a risk, heavy outlays to list brands, risks that they may be pulled from the shelf inside a year makes for a less than ideal scenario for Grocers and retailers more generally. CBD has high production costs and relatively low supply volume when compared to the immense consumer demand, this has kept the price higher than other supplement products which also restricts businesses willingness to adopt CBD ranges into their portfolio.