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Whole Foods Expands Distribution of CBD Products

More than 350 locations in 30 states to offer new items
Photograph courtesy of Whole Foods Market

In response to the cannabidiol (CBD) industry’s explosive growth, both in terms of new product innovation and increasing consumer awareness, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market is expanding distribution of topical CBD products to 13 additional states this month, making CBD products available in a total of 359 Whole Foods Market stores across the U.S.

U.S. sales of CBD and hemp oil products containing CBD reached $238 million in 2018, up 57% from 2017, according to a recent study from Boulder, Colo.-based New Hope Network. At Natural Products Expo East, held Sept. 11-14 in Baltimore, New Hope reported that sales of hemp-based CBD supplements alone are expected to hit $3 billion by 2023.

In January of this year, New Hope asked natural and organic manufacturers about their plans to launch CBD/hemp products in the next one to two years, at which time, 65% said “yes.” When New Hope asked again last month, 76% said “yes.”

Consumer awareness is also on the rise. According to a New Hope survey, 47% of consumers were familiar with CBD in late 2018. When New Hope polled consumers about CBD in July 2019, it found that 70% were familiar.

“Our shoppers have expressed a growing interest in CBD products,” Jennifer Coleman, global senior category merchant for Whole Foods Market, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to roll out topical CBD products in even more stores and to share new, exclusive items from our long-standing supplier partner Pacha Soap Co.”

As of September 2019, Whole Foods now carries topical CBD products in 30 states. As with all body care items sold at Whole Foods Market, the new CBD products meet the grocer’s rigorous body care quality standards, which ban parabens, phthalates, triclosan and more than 100 other questionable ingredients used in conventional body care products.

From Oct. 4-6, beauty and body care products, including topical CBD and the new Pacha Soap Co. bath products, will be 25% off as part of Whole Foods Market’s fall Beauty, Bath and Body Care Sale. Amazon Prime members receive an additional 10% off the discounted price.

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