Hemp-CBD products have come a long way since their introduction in 2016. In just six years, their market has skyrocketed: Nielsen predicts that hemp-CBD products could account for one in four animal health supplements of by 2025. Fueling this growing popularity is consumers changing their minds about these ingredients as new research comes out and they realize how beneficial it could be for their pet.
While pet parents view pets as an extension of themselves and their family, they realize that pets require the same precautions and care as humans because ” hemp and CBD products have many benefits, as does aspirin or ibuprofen,” says Jason. Lysak, President of pet products.
Although there is an understanding of the (many) benefits of hemp-CBD for pets, there is still misunderstanding about the differences between the two, as well as the persistent misconception that these products can soar» the animals.
“A lot of people think there’s a difference between hemp and CBD pet products, when in fact a hemp plant contains CBD,” says Amanda Howland, co-founder and CCO of ElleVet Sciences. “A real hemp plant is one that grows with less than 0.3% THC and usually has a much higher percentage of CBD. Of course, there are huge quality differences between plants and between CBD products.
To celebrate the great strides that hemp-CBD has made in a short time – and dispel any lingering misconceptions – let’s take a look at the key things retailers should consider when growing their selection of hemp products.
When researching hemp-CBD products, retailers look for brands and manufacturers on behalf of themselves and their customers. With hemp products, the biggest misconception revolves around the difference between it and its “sister” CBD.
“Hemp products and CBD pet products are typically advertised very similarly, which can often confuse pet parents,” says Chelsea Genning, SVP and co-founder of pet sheet. “Hemp products can often be defined as hemp seed oil or a hemp protein supplement that does not contain CBD. In a full-spectrum CBD product, all valuable cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted from the hemp plant, including CBD.
Once the difference between the two ingredients and their respective benefits are understood, retailers should then move on to vetting potential suppliers and manufacturers to ensure that they are selecting only the highest quality products to reside on. their store shelves. There are various certifications and standards that retailers should look for when expanding or introducing hemp-based pet products. According to Howland, retailers should:
• Look for a product that has been proven in a clinical study with a published article showing the results.
• Make sure it contains around 50% CBDA.
• Make sure it’s not a CO2 extraction, as you can’t store CBDA in it.
• Determine if the assay is accurate and science-based.
• Check the price per milligram of CBD + CBDA, because “many products look cheap but contain very little CBD and CBDA”.
• Choose full-spectrum, non-isolated products.
• Check that the COA is available for each product.
Additionally, Gennings explains that retailers should screen brands and choose companies that:
• Wear the seal of the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC), because “it is only awarded to companies that meet rigorous quality standards and strict labeling requirements,” she notes.
• Partner with hemp farms that have USDA certified organic farms to prove that no herbicides or pesticides were used.
• Provide third-party lab testing to ensure product quality and potency.
Showcase of suppliers
With these standards in mind, each manufacturer has a different strategy for making their hemp products. For example, Lysak explains that Heirloom Pet Products only uses water-soluble, broad-spectrum hemp-CBD that’s grown organically on farms in California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado – “that’s an ingredient much like flour and sugar when baking,” he notes.
On the green side, Gennings says Pet Releaf oversees the entire manufacturing process “from seed to sale, from plant to pet.” The company aligns itself with regenerative organic farms that practice the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle, which offer a gentler approach to sustainable agriculture.
Additionally, she adds that the company sources plant-based, sustainable ingredients when and where possible, and that they are mostly sourced locally in Colorado, where the company is based, to help reduce greenhouse gases resulting from heavy diesel trains and semi-trailers.
ElleVet Sciences also uses a “seed to package” motto, Howland explains, because “we are the only CBD + CBDA company that does not source from a bulk manufacturer.” She adds that ElleVet actually develops its own product to have full control and transparency over the entire production process.
Last but not least, King Kanin– which founder Jeff Riman explains was “one of the first pet companies dedicated to quality hemp/CBD products” – has always been sourced from a few farms for quality extracted oils. The company also focuses on consistency to ensure that it sources products from the same place and uses hemp plants with very similar genetics so that it comes as close to the same spectra as possible with each batch of finished products produced.
The common denominator in all these supply methods is clearly sustainability and total monitoring of production. After all, there is no better way to ensure quality standards than to oversee the process from seed to sale.
With so many reputable companies offering high-quality hemp-CBD products, retailers have a rolodex of suppliers to browse. While it’s tempting to carry one or two products from multiple companies to provide a selection, it’s often more beneficial to commit to a handful of brands.
“We recommend that retailers choose to only carry a few hemp products on their shelves, as this will help prevent customers from experiencing decision paralysis,” says Gennings. “We’ve seen that stores that sell a maximum of two to three brands have a higher overall hemp-CBD category because it’s easier for customers to distinguish and decide between products and brands.”
Once a retailer has selected the brands that best fit their value proposition and that they trust, it’s time to focus on product placement in stores. Of course, this brings us to the age-old question: what is the best shelf?
“We recommend displaying hemp products in the supplements section or at checkout,” Gennings continues. “When at the counter, it gives retailers the opportunity to start a conversation with customers about the benefits of the product to see if the customer would be willing to add it to their pet’s health regimen.”
As beneficial and healing as hemp products are, the merchandising standards are pretty much the same as any other product, although they require more knowledge for curious customers.
“Merchandising should be like any other product,” says Riman. “The value points have to be very clear to their customers, that’s for sure. Although CBD has become very popular, many customers still do not know what it is actually used for.
When retailers are armed with a clear definition, full transparency in the creation process, and offer a few quality products, they are definitely on the verge of success in the hemp-CBD category. And, with the category poised to continue its upward trend, it’s also good for retailers’ bottom line.
“Hemp products are great – it’s as simple as that,” says Riman. “People have relied on hemp as a great source for so many things for thousands of years and being so natural and digestible for our pets, we should be looking to use hemp products as a staple food in our daily pet care routines.” BP