HEALTH

MarketHub Retail Services’ Patterson talks hemp

BY Blake Patterson
Hemp-derived cannabidiol, or CBD/hemp Extract. Just talking about these kinds of things sounds intimidating, illegal and not very consumer-friendly. Skeptical? Not a problem. 
 
It’s likely most retailers have tremendous experience with health-and-wellness products. Retail markets, consumer products and shopper marketing programs are my sandbox. Therefore, merchants are familiar with adaptogens and their many positive effects on the human body. The CBD molecule is an adaptogen.
 
The recent discovery of the endocannabinoid system — 1990 to 1993 — within the body and the research of hemp/cannabis on it, as well as the legal clarity and risk mitigation, are racing us to a category market explosion. The health benefits of CBD are too substantial for the space given for this article. Like with most consumer products, if certain regulations, sourcing, manufacturing and labeling criteria are met, it is completely legal in all 50 states.
 
There are companies in this field that have vision and are executing at the highest levels, while patiently — in some cases — waiting for critical mass to take hold and carry them to where they deserve to be. These companies have been honing their craft and developing new and exciting products to meet the necessary requirements for success at every level. 
 
The World Anti-Doping Agency took CBD off the banned substances list on Sept. 29. Lucky’s Markets, a Kroger property with 29 stores in 11 states, rolled out the category, including their own private label chainwide in October. Let that sink in — a banner of one of the largest supermarket conglomerates in the United States has its own brand of hemp extract products. 
 
Kroger’s entry into this category signals that the green flag has dropped on a category that can change lives. 
 
There is a blueprint for success of this magnitude, and the CBD category now hits them all:
  • Product benefits: Targeted and general health-and-wellness benefits;
  • Consumer mix: Deep and diverse consumer segments;
  • Product quality: Well developed, manufactured and branded products;
  • Category proliferation: A wide variety of consumer product categories; and
  • Retail coverage: Marketability in virtually every retail class of trade.
The convergence of education and access is necessary, and it applies to retailers and customers alike. We think we can help. MarketHub brings these aspects together with years of experience in category management and creating retail programs that bring real value. Through our extensive research of this industry, we have aligned ourselves with the best it has to offer. We have an established and growing catalog of premium quality and compliant brands to create the right product mix for each retail client and customer group. We then work together to create a category plan that engages customers on a vertical basis. Our partnership philosophy is embedded in everything we do.
 
The category is new and needs to be cultivated by everyone in the value chain. Our goal is to maximize the opportunity for every stakeholder — including the customer — who will find value in the category due to the tremendous benefits for mind and body.
 

Blake Patterson is the co-founder of MarketHub Retail Services, which represents the hemp category by providing its category partners a mix of products, as well as management, national distribution, display options, integrated shopper marketing and education.

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Making supplements sustainable

BY DSN STAFF

The Marine Stewardship Council is looking to ensure that fish and krill oil supplement makers can capture an increasing number of consumers interested in knowing where their supplements came from. A 2016 Nielsen GlobeScan survey found that more than 79% of U.S. seafood consumers cited sustainable sourcing as an important motivator, with more than two-thirds of those surveyed saying they wanted to be able to trace their purchases to a trusted source.

MSC’s efforts are delivering on the interests of the 65% of those surveyed who said they think a brand’s sustainability claims should be labeled by an independent organization. In six years, the number of Omega-3 supplements carrying MSC’s label has increased to 500 from 11, and MSC has certified the Alex BioMarine Antarctic Krill fishery, as well as two Alaskan pollock fisheries, which MSC said are the source of an increasing number of supplements.

One of MSC’s largest partners is Sam’s Club, which earned the organization’s inaugural U.S. Ocean Champions award for the its efforts to ensure that its private-label Member’s Mark fish oil and krill oil supplements are entirely traceable to an MSC-certified sustainable fishery. The larger industry looks to be following suit, as according to MSC, the U.S. market has more than 65% of total sales by volume made up of MSC-certified supplements.

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Getting smart about glucose monitoring

BY DSN STAFF

Smartphones may be smart, but sometimes they still are not always accessible.

Enter Smart Meter, a Tampa, Fl.-based company that has recently gained FDA approval for its iGlucose blood glucose meter, which eliminates syncing or paring complications when trying to share blood glucose test results.

“The future is going to be one in which there is more connectivity and more sharing of data than has taken place in the past,” Brahim Zabeli, vice president of sales at Smart Meter, said. Smart Meter gained 510(k) approval in May and is just starting to bring the product to market, he added.

The iGlucose system is a subscription-free glucose meter that is ready out of the box and automatically transmits data to a cloud-based personalized Web portal. The system also allows for real-time communication between the diabetes patient and the patient’s designated caretakers, according to the company.

In addition to enabling connectivity between practitioner and patient, the Smart Meter incorporates an automated virtual care coach and Web-based patient and population management portal into its total offering. “As patients test their blood glucose, they are given feedback that can come to them via SMS, email or both that gives them an ‘attaboy’ for taking the test, or a friendly reminder or a recommendation if their [test result] is out of range,” Zabeli said. “This virtual coaching piece is a pretty critical part of the product offering.”

Top 10 sleeping remedies

 

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