The latest trend in the food and beverage industry is CBD (cannabidiol). It is one of the ingredients in the marijuana plant, specifically from hemp. CBD has zero psychological effects. Everything that CBD offers is not far off from the Turmeric plant or Ginseng and Ginger. However, CBD is a popular healthy ingredient of the moment, and every brand is rushing to use it. The ingredient makes bold health claims that can be substantiated but have also been exaggerated. CBD is also slightly illicit, so there is an X factor within this one ingredient that can allow for a safe edge to brands that contain CBD. Regardless of all the hype and trendiness of this one ingredient, there are some things you need to know if you intend on launching a CBD food brand.
Know the Laws
You need to know the laws of the areas that your product is being produced in and consumed in. While CBD is legal in most places around the country, there are still a few spots where it is not widely accepted. Also, the laws may be different for possessing it, distributing it, or manufacturing it. You need to do your due diligence when it comes to launching a CBD food brand. Since CBD is a new ingredient that is freshly legal, then the laws are still relatively gray depending on where it is produced and consumed.
Create a Powerful Business Plan
Creating a great business plan is the goal of any new venture. However, when it comes to a unique ingredient derived from a controversial source, having an ironclad business plan is wise. You will want to communicate your goals and strategies to financial investors and other stakeholders of the venture.
Key factors of your business plan should be: what kind of product is being produced, a customer and market analysis (who will be your target customer and what are they like), where is the money coming from to fund the business? Also, how will you want to market the product? How does your product differ from the thousands of other CBD food brands that have been created? What are the channels for execution? Lastly, what is a realistic sales benchmark, and how will you stay on track to meet this goal?
All of the questions will need to be answered within your business plan, and you need to be prepared to answer them.
Find Good Suppliers
Whether you’re interested in distributing and reselling CBD products or creating your own, you will need to identify a high-quality supplier. Since you are dealing with a new and trendy ingredient that also comes from the marijuana plant, this is another aspect of your product that you will need to do your due diligence on.
Your CBD products must be sourced from hemp is you are not in a legal-marijuana state. A lot of reputable wholesalers currently source their CBD from Europe where farmers have had many years to perfect their craft of growing hemp. There are, however, many American-derived CBD farmers that are becoming increasingly prevalent within the industry.
To know that someone is a reputable CBD supplier, you can request two things.
1) Current Good Manufacturing Practice. The cGMP indicates that the business operates using the processes and procedures that conform to state and FDA guidelines. Given the proliferation of CBD companies, this certification should be a baseline requirement for determining a shortlist of potential partners.
2) Certification and a Certificate of Analysis. The COA is a report that confirms the plant species and levels of CBD and THC and provides a details analysis of other components, like heavy metals, pesticides, and terpenes, in every batch (percentages, purity, etc.) More importantly, this report can verify that your sources hemp extract doesn’t exceed the 0.3 percent THC legal threshold.
Build Your Brand
After taking care of business matters, it is time to focus on telling your brand story. You need to get your brand out there and tell everyone who you are. You will want to sample other CBD products and see how you can save yourself a seat in the CBD brand space.
Who is your brand? What are you accomplishing for the consumer? Once you have these questions answered, your branding all fleshed out, and your business plan perfected, then you are ready for the tradeshow.