Nov 20, 2019
I’m seeing a pattern here.
Earlier this decade, the Summer Fancy Food show in New York City started featuring a lot of organic and non-GMO products. Several months after that conference at the Private Label Manufacturers Association show in Chicago, there was a new crush of store brand organic and non-GMO products.
A few years later, the same thing happened with gluten-free products, first at the Fancy Food show and then at PLMA. And this past June, the fancy food show featured dozens of plant-based protein products, as well as a burgeoning number of CBD-laced products. This week in Chicago, we saw the same at the private label show.
Like organics and gluten-free products before them, plant-based protein and CBD items are appearing in dozens of store brand categories. On the PLMA show floor, there were CBD dietary supplements, soaps, soups, pet food, kosher items, juice and hydrating sports beverages and much more. Innovation is spreading fast and wide on the plant-based proteins side as well. The private label show featured non-meat replacements for everything from chicken fingers for kids to meatballs on pizza and, of course, hamburgers.
Research firm Research and Marketing reports that plant-based meat replacements are the fastest growing segment of plant-based foods with 23 percent growth in 2018 and sales expected to reach $3 billion within five years. Virginia Lee, CBD Research Manager at Brightfield Group, which focuses on the legal CBD and cannabis industries, said the U.S. market for hemp-derived CBD is expected to reach $23.7 billion by 2023. That’s some serious growth.
All of this begs the question, how can retailers best take advantage of both CBDs and plant-based proteins?
Jim Wisner, president at Wisner Marketing Group, said retailers must partner with suppliers to be first to market with new products that will help create a new image, not only for any individual department, but for the entire store. “You can’t just sit and wait and watch. You need to be there,” he said.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What are retailers doing right when it comes to the latest product trends like CBD and plant-based proteins in private label? What could they be doing better?