Kroger is high on the CBD sales opportunity

Discussion
Jun 12, 2019
George Anderson

Kroger is the latest major retail chain attempting to cash in on the CBD (cannabidiol) products rush, announcing this week that it plans to sell personal care items with the ingredient in 945 stores across 17 states.

The grocer joins Barneys New York, CVS, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe and Walgreens in bringing products with CBD, the non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, to the market. CBD has been promoted as beneficial to people dealing with a variety of health issues, including anxiety, pain and sleep problems. The government has not substantiated any claims made by CBD proponents.

The announcement by Kroger is significant because it adds another retail with a wide geographical reach to the CBD product category. The chain said it would offer “a highly-curated selection of topical products like lotions, balms, oils and creams.”

One thing Kroger will not be selling is food products infused with CBD. The Food and Drug Administration, which is evaluating CBD as an ingredient in food, drinks and supplements, still appears to be a ways off from granting approval despite clear signals that many in the food industry want that to happen.

The supermarket chain will stock CBD products in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think most major retailers will soon begin stocking personal care products with CBD as an ingredient? How long before retailers begin developing their own private label products with CBD?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"CBD in retail is expected to be a $22B business by 2022. Retailers who aren’t already making moves to take advantage of this $22B opportunity have missed the boat."
"I feel like this is a fad. Right now, CBD is being attributed to snake-oil levels of benefits, with no supporting evidence that it can actually do any of those things."
"CBD is about to hit the mainstream, and I don’t think anyone will want to miss out on the next kale while worrying about 420 politics."

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12 Comments on "Kroger is high on the CBD sales opportunity"


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Dave Bruno
BrainTrust

It’s only a matter of time before all major retailers will begin stocking CBD-based products. CBD is about to hit the mainstream, and I don’t think anyone will want to miss out on the next kale while worrying about 420 politics.

Nikki Baird
BrainTrust

I feel like this is a fad. Right now, CBD is being attributed to snake-oil levels of benefits, with no supporting evidence that it can actually do any of those things. Once studies start coming through and more rigor is applied to what can and can’t be said, interest will collapse to whatever level of benefits actually exist.

That’s not to say retailers shouldn’t get in on it, though. Fads have their place in retail, and as long as you know when to get out, you can make a lot of money selling the products that consumers want to buy. In this case, will CBD be a 2-year fad? A 6-month fad? A 10-year fad? Answering that question is the hard part!

Carol Spieckerman
BrainTrust

CBD is a fad at this point (albeit one that is gaining traction). I’m sensing a potential slow-down as information about unknown efficacy surfaces. Cannabis is a whole other story. I continue to be surprised by the number, and nature, of companies that are prepping cannabis strategies. Clients and industry contacts, some quite conservative, are jumping in, dedicating resources and looking at long-term potential. The cannabis crush is only just beginning.

Bethany Allee
BrainTrust

CBD in retail is expected to be a $22B business by 2022. Retailers who aren’t already making moves to take advantage of this $22B opportunity have missed the boat. Private label CBD is mere moments behind major retailers stocking CBD products. I’ve already seen a few private labels, but not at major retailers.

David Weinand
BrainTrust

If there is a sales opportunity that kicks off a better margin than most consumer products, then yes, absolutely retailers will jump on the bandwagon. Private label is an obvious next step if the trend continues and the benefits of CBD infused products are proven out.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

This doesn’t surprise me, CBD oil is everywhere. What does surprise me is the lack of standardization. How do you know what you are really buying?

This is a product that requires information to buy, more than you will get reading a tiny bottle. It’s touted to do a lot of things, but it also doesn’t interact with some common prescription medications. You need store associates with the knowledge to help you choose what’s right for you. I don’t think we’ll find that kind of help in a grocery store.

Shep Hyken
BrainTrust

CBD is in demand — in a big way. Why miss out on that opportunity? It’s that simple.

John Karolefski
BrainTrust

This will not be a fad if the products are effective. Most major retailers will soon begin stocking personal care products with CBD as an ingredient, but grocers will wait until they see consumer reaction and sales before committing to private label versions. Sales of CBD-infused food and beverage — when legal — will be a bridge too far for most grocers.

Rich Kizer
BrainTrust

Well, it’s like a band wagon coming to town that promises huge dollars in business, and we will see many merchants jump on. I agree with Georganne, that there should be information-armed, knowledgable associates. So the question is, after the excitement of introducing CBD items to the store’s mix passes, will Kroger (and all others) be astute to train, with meaningful information, their associates?

Brent Biddulph
BrainTrust
Consumers today are more educated and inquisitive than ever, and deep insights are at their finger tips (this is not the 19th century where “snake oils” were dependent upon ignorance) … that correlation is just not relevant here. CBD oils are not new, nor are they a fad. This is a trend that aligns with consumer desires to source natural and organic foods and the same claims about Whole Foods and Sprouts being a retail fad a decade ago — yet, it changed an entire industry. Opening the eyes of Baby Boomer “deniers” that their children (now consumers with wallet power) actually care about natural, organic and ethically sourced products — and were willing to pay for it — may be a harsh reality. Also, understanding that consumers of all ages are looking for homeopathic alternatives to pharmaceutical (man made) drugs, and the lack of responsibility they see with retail pharmacies and big pharma drug kingpins that have been pushing and fulfilling (e.g. opioids and addictions) is another side of the story here. Is CBD… Read more »
Craig Sundstrom
Guest

“The government has not substantiated any claims made by CBD proponents.” With backtracking on claims about products that were already declared “safe” — hydrogenization, anyone? — I find it difficult to get too excited about the long-term future of any of these products … not that there won’t continue to be enthusiasts, of course.

Verlin Youd
BrainTrust

Yes and 1-3 years. CBD is more than a fad, at least if handled correctly. Package that (pun intended) with ever quicker means to get private labels to market and you have the perfect opportunity.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"CBD in retail is expected to be a $22B business by 2022. Retailers who aren’t already making moves to take advantage of this $22B opportunity have missed the boat."
"I feel like this is a fad. Right now, CBD is being attributed to snake-oil levels of benefits, with no supporting evidence that it can actually do any of those things."
"CBD is about to hit the mainstream, and I don’t think anyone will want to miss out on the next kale while worrying about 420 politics."

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