COVID-19 is double-edged sword for CBD-containing product launches, says GlobalData

Recent launches of products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are well aligned with the consumer health and wellness trends that are developing in response to COVID-19. However, the potential growth of these products is slowed by consumer’s distrust of the unfamiliar, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Health and wellness has consistently been the number one factor to influence purchasing choices in GlobalData’s COVID-19 tracker surveys – so much so, that a third (32%) of consumers globally are always influenced by this factor*. Recognizing the importance of this trend, Calm Drinks’ has launched a new immune-boosting CBD product, Calm Water Immunity+CBD.

Amira Freyer-Elgendy, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, commented: ‘‘Consumers are seeking products that support their health and wellness. Calm Drinks’ claimed immune-boosting attributes hones in on consumers’ desire to be proactive about warding off illness, and the CBD element targets consumer’s concerns around mental wellbeing.”

Worries around mental health are especially prominent due to the restrictions placed on consumers’ social life, usual support networks and regular routines. Furthermore, 97% of global consumers are concerned to some degree about the pandemic, as per the same survey*.

Freyer-Elgendy continues: ‘Globally, stress and anxiety were already one of the top three worries of consumers at the end of 2019*2 – the pandemic has only exacerbated this with consumer’s feeling anxious about the health of their friends and family, their personal health, job instability, reports about looming recession and dramatic shifts in everyday life.’’

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However, CBD is still approached with mistrust by many, as more than one in ten consumers believe it to have a negative effect on the body, according to GlobalData’s 2019 Q3 global consumer survey*2. Large portions of the population are unaware of what the ingredient is and does. This clashes with another growing trend that has emerged from the pandemic – comfort and uncertainty – and is reflected in GlobalData’s survey findings, with risk-free and trustworthy attributes highlighted as one of the top three factors to influence consumers’ buying habits globally during the pandemic period.

Freyer-Elgendy adds: “Almost 40% of global consumers are not familiar with CBD, while, conversely, only 9% of consumers are unaware of cannabis/marijuana. The conflation of the two and a lack of rigorous scientific research into the ingredient has left many consumers wary. During this time when many are seeking out comfort and familiarity, and are more risk averse, consumers may avoid trying more experimental ingredients.”

* Coronavirus (Covid-19) Consumer Survey Results – Weeks 10 (June 3rd) – Global

*2 GlobalData’s 2019 Q3 Global Consumer Survey

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