As the world consumers market joined hands with the stress and chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic and causing a great disruption of daily life, searching for new ideas to unstress has come across even with higher importance.
The result of the outbreak has come amidst a steadily increasing number of legal cannabis products, including its non-intoxicating offshoot CBD.
Many CBD and hemp brands quickly found sales growth as consumers rushed to stockpile goods amidst lockdown, but cannabis suppliers and entrepreneurs are now wondering what and how their industry will look like once the crisis passes.
Sales Grow Amid Lockdown
One of the industry leaders said consumer purchases were up and that there had been a 45% increase in B2B sales between February and March.
In difficult times, whether they be recessions or mass events, things like alcohol, tobacco, and even chewing gum — these categories tend to accelerate rather than retreat. We’ve gone almost full circle in my lifetime from ‘you’ve got to do it in the closet’ to ‘in difficult times, let’s make sure the channels for this market are still open. As some of the people in this industry are still preferring the traditional way of generating sales other in the industry has already taken a leap forward and have created a path for alternate sales channels.
Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the cannabis business has maintained an inconsistent signal, however. It has found rapid spikes, which vary by state, according to a market research firm, reflecting the constantly changing nature of the outbreak and its effect on consumer shopping trends.
Consumption types have changed in the COVID-19 era, according to Headset, with edibles emerging as the growth leader during the pandemic, with sales up 28% as of April 2. Beverage — to date has among the slowest growing and smallest sectors in cannabis — has seen sales boom, up 14%. Elsewhere, flower sales have increased by 12% and vape pens were up 9%. Pre-rolls and topicals were down 13% each.
Market leaders said the increase in beverage and edible sales could potentially be driven by concerns around COVID-19’s respiratory effects, moving consumers away from smoking during the pandemic. However, while virus-specific stockpiling may be responsible for the sudden surge and volatility of cannabis sales, he noted that the growth is also in line with projections for the industry. It’s difficult, he said, to firmly say what sales have been driven by panic buying and which were to be expected.
“There is definitely an upward slope to the growth curve of the space and there’s going to be an associated curve that shows the growth curve between edibles, drinkables, confections and then combustion,” But to look for the change in that curve as a function of the virus, I think it’s a little too early to extract that kind of a conclusion data review.
Jonathan Eppers, founder and CEO of CBD-infused beverage, however, more readily attributed the virus to a 600% month-over-month increase in online sales for his brand. While the brand’s retail business has taken a hit due to the closure of on-premise accounts and mom-and-pop stores (roughly 65% of its retail business), the company has turned to direct-to-consumer to meet rising demand.
Connecting with the Consumer
Due to the lack of clear federal regulations, CBD products’ ability to advertise health benefits remains unclear. Nevertheless, CBD’s imputed ability to reduce anxiety remains a key selling point. Given the current state of the world, it’s only natural that shoppers would be looking for a remedy for stress.
Your company should aim at business goals that define your business’s guiding principles. In times of crisis, your company’s mission and core values should inform, how and what you communicate to your customers.
Reaching out to consumers can be difficult and websites such as Google and Facebook often block advertisements for hemp products. The company can plan to step up it’s advertising on podcasts, a strategy. Regardless of the tactic used CBD brands to not over-promise in their marketing content.
If the goal of your communication is to let customers know how your business is supporting them through COVID-19, be transparent and clear as to how you’re doing that and what customers need to do (the call to action). Finally, direct the users to the appropriate resources like a page on your website or contact your customer support team, for the user to have an enhanced user experience.