Ask the RD: CBD

By Joshua Weatherwax

5 min read

May 17, 2022

The health and wellness business landscape has seen dramatic change in recent years, and the growth of CBD and CBD acceptance is no different.

New CPG manufacturers are using CBD, hemp, and other related ingredients in a wide range of product types. But they aren’t all the same thing, and they don’t offer the same benefits.

To get to some greater insight, NielsenIQ hosted a conversation with Tim Younger, registered dietitian and Data Transformation Analyst at NielsenIQ Label Insight. Check out some important takeaways below.

Q: Hemp, hemp oil, full-spectrum hemp oil, CBD—what’s the difference?

A: Hemp products are nothing new to the natural foods industry. Oils from varieties of cannabis plants, including hemp, have been available for years. However, these have not necessarily had the cannabidiol (CBD) that many shoppers are looking for today.

To explain this, let’s start with the hemp plant. Hemp plants have oils that can be extracted and refined but may lose their CBD content in the refining process. What’s left is omega-heavy hemp oil. With the surge of CBD’s popularity, removing the CBD may not be desirable. If phytonutrients (chemical compounds produced by plants)—including CBD—are left in the oil, you have full-spectrum hemp oil. The CBD can also be separated from the oil and used by itself.

Q: CBD is often associated with natural products. Do product ingredient statements typically reflect that?

A: While CBD and hemp are often used in natural formulations, we find an increasing number of products that are positioning themselves as a comfort or novelty product. These can often be found in the categories where comfort and novelty thrive, such as candy, soft drinks, and energy drinks.

These products can be found boasting mood enhancement and relaxation, or even recreation and partying. It’s not always about having the cleanest product, especially in the realm of comfort food. In fact, 41% of CBD containing products have an artificial ingredient. This also means they may not be meeting the changing health and wellness consumer needs.

Q: What trends are you seeing associated with CBD and cannabis products?

A: While not all CBD products have completely clean labels, they often focus on other concepts that mindful shoppers seek out.

We find that they are positioning themselves toward sustainable-focused shoppers 12.07% more than non-CBD products and make animal welfare claims 7.45% more than non-CBD products.

Pet care has the third-fastest growth rate at 177% compared to two years ago and 40% more UPCs. The number of UPCs that claim to contain CBD has expanded personal care (+61%) and vitamins (+31%) in the past two years as well.

Q: What attributes are available to customers now and are coming out soon regarding CBD?

A: You can find products that contain CBD ingredients and products that make CBD marketing claims in NielsenIQ Product Insight today. In the past five years alone, the product categories that claim to contain CBD have grown +242%. We plan to make delta-8 attributes available in 2022 as more products begin using this compound. There is still a lot of innovation happening in this space and the store is ripe for expansion. It will be very important to keep an eye on what’s happening over the next year.

What Does This Mean for Small CPGs?

If you are in the food or Bev/al space, you may be incentivized to pursue this shift in consumer desires. Just make sure you understand what CBD is, why you may want to use it as an ingredient, and the rules and regulations involved. If done right, you can even highlight the health benefits of their products in their CPG marketing efforts. You can gain market share with wellness-minded consumers without having to change your products. You just need to know where to start.

That’s why we recommend checking out Byzzer Total Wellness. You can get the business-ready insights to inform your marketing, product innovation, and growth strategies by understanding your marketplace in a way that consumers shop. The insights are delivered as reports, ready to be used by all of your stakeholders for immediate decision-making. You’ll be able to measure sales and growth by product attribute, optimize your assortment to meet preferences, capitalize on new opportunities, provide the best packaging details, make the correct attribute claims, and excel as a CPG brand as wellness becomes mainstream.

Learn more about Total Wellness here.


This content was originally posted on For the full interview, check out the post here.

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