Increase in sales of
products over the
past 12 months
Source: Brightfield Group
H12 2019 HEALTH & WELLNESS HANDBOOK WINSIGHT GROCERY BUSINESS
Think of CBD oil
as an essential
oil, much like
—Erica McBride Stark,
National Hemp Association
CBD IN GROCERY
about the category.
For the most part, retailers are keeping CBD in its own
section of the store, usually under lock and key. Betty Bailey, wellness department manager for the Alfalfa’s Market
in Boulder, Colo., says the arrangement gives her team a
chance to connect with shoppers and help them navigate
the new offerings.
Alfalfa’s keeps its hemp items in a case that it dubs
the “hemporium,” which Bailey says is “great for many
reasons because it protects against theft but also really
encourages dialogue with customers” and allows staff
to “interface with everybody that comes through to pur-
To further its CBD outreach and education, Alfalfa fea-
tured a “New Relaxed You” New Year’s campaign, which
Bailey said was a great success because shoppers are “al-
ways excited about hemp promotions,” and it attracts new
customers who otherwise might pass the section by or be
intimidated by price points.
Fairway Market takes a similar approach with the products in a segregated locked case, and it promotes them
through social and blog posts, pamphlets and its monthly magazine to “educate consumers and make sure they
know we’re in the business,” Bidart says.
products and vetting potential hemp industry partners.
Made from a custom, proprietary blend of essential
oils and full-spectrum CBD—which includes additional
beneficial compounds from the hemp plant, including
CBN (cannabinol), CBC (cannabichromene) and CBG
(cannabigerol), versus other products that contain just
the isolated CBD compound—the New York-based retailer’s hemp-extract products are non-GMO, pesticide-free
and made from hand-picked hemp grown on sustainable
farms in the U.S.
“We’ve invested a lot of time and energy and research
in development with our partner, and we stand behind it,
and we’re in this for the long haul,” says Jason Bidart, VP
of private brand programs for Fairway Market.
Retailers That Are Paving the Way
While the CBD landscape may seem daunting from a legal
perspective, many grocery retailers are diving in headfirst
and see the 2018 Farm Bill as an opportunity to take their
crop of offerings to new heights.
E-commerce is one of the most exciting opportunities
coming to light, says Amanda Nelson, nutrition program
specialist for Portland, Ore.-based New Seasons Market,
which has been carrying CBD products since before the
Farm Bill was passed. Nelson says the new regulations
open up distribution opportunities such as grocery delivery for hemp-based products across state lines.
However, many consumers are in the dark in regard
to the ins and outs of hemp, which provides an opportunity for retailers to connect with these shoppers through
education. While putting better-for-you items in a designated section of the store—instead of incorporating them
throughout—is often frowned upon from a merchandising
perspective, it is an approach that is widely recommended
for CBD until consumers become more knowledgeable