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CBD sales highlighted during SupplySide West food and beverage workshop

SSW F&B Workshop
At SupplySide West last month in Las Vegas, an analyst presented data that highlighted the extraordinary growth of CBD across all channels tracked by SPINs, the market research firm.

Dietary supplements lead CBD sales in retail channels tracked by SPINs, the market research firm focused on the natural products industry.

At SupplySide West last month in Las Vegas, an analyst presented data that highlighted the extraordinary growth of CBD across all channels tracked by Chicago-based SPINs.

For the 52 weeks that ended Aug. 11, 2019, CBD sales grew 342% to reach $185.1 million across all SPINs channels, including the natural channel, according to Perteet Spencer, principal of the strategic partners group at SPINs. Sales were up from $47.2 million a year ago and just $9.1 million two years ago, Spencer reported.

Spencer, who presented SPINs data during an Oct. 19 SupplySide workshop focused on CBD in food and beverages, reported 78% of CBD sales derived from supplements. But during the same workshop, Roy Bingham, co-founder and CEO of BDS Analytics, predicted CBD growth will largely come from topicals and edibles—including beverages, candy and food.

BDS Analytics projected the U.S. cannabinoid market will reach $45 billion by 2024. Of that hefty figure, $25 billion will be THC cannabinoids in licensed dispensaries, according to the Boulder, Colorado-based market research firm. Bingham said non-THC cannabinoids in general retail—think, for example, CBD in dietary supplements and drinks—will yield sales of $13 billion by 2024.

Some companies like Evo Hemp are already achieving success in the CBD food and beverage market. During the SupplySide West workshop, the two young leaders of Evo Hemp, Jourdan Samel and Ari Sherman, offered a colorful presentation on their brand, including the importance of partnerships with Native American tribes to grow hemp.

Evo Hemp has a relationship with the Lakota Tribe and Alex White Plume, former vice president and president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, to grow and harvest hemp on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Alex cultivates the hemp, then the cannabinoid-rich hemp flower is harvested and made into foods, such as hemp seed hearts, hemp protein powder and Evo Hemp protein bars.

“The focus of this project is to help provide high-paying agricultural jobs to Native American tribes,” Sherman, co-founder and president of Evo Hemp, explained on an Evo Hemp webpage that describes the relationship with Plume and the Lakota Tribe.

In their slide deck at SupplySide West, Evo Hemp’s founders said most consumers feel a stronger connection to companies that are “purpose-driven.”

“Socially responsible” initiatives like the one described above by Evo Hemp’s founders lend credibility to an industry that, despite its extraordinary growth, remains in its infancy. According to research in the first quarter of 2019 by BDS Analytics, just 15% of U.S. adults age 21 or older have consumed hemp-derived products within the past six months.

The percent of Americans consuming hemp-derived products should rise significantly in the coming years—especially once FDA or Congress creates a legal pathway for CBD in supplements and conventional food.

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