Customers at Mother’s Market & Kitchen stores in Southern California are showing keen interest in dissolvable CBD products.
These products are new to the 11 stores’ shelves and are relatively new to the world of CBD. Dissolvables come in two basic formats: powdered products that can be added to foods or beverages and powders meant to be placed directly on the tongue.
Mother’s Market carries CBD dissolvables of both types from Denver-based Caliper Foods. While most customers so far have gravitated toward the unflavored Caliper products that dissolve in beverages, Caliper's flavored SwiftSticks (a direct-to-tongue product), currently sold in two-packs, have been successful enough that Mother's Market is launching a line extension of 30-packs in January.
“Customers treat these like collagen or protein,” says Pamela Lechtenberg, Mother's Market's director of wellness. "They’re people who are used to taking powdered supplements."
The dissolvable CBD products are merchandised in a special CBD section within the health and wellness department, usually closer to vitamins than beauty products “because that’s why people are there.” The two-packs are sold at the registers.
Mother’s Market introduced the dissolvables to its lineup six months ago to counter what Lechtenberg describes as “the oversaturation in oils and capsules and gummies.” Dissolvables, she says, “were a breath of fresh air.”
Fitting into Busy Lives
Jolene Jacobs, general manager of Caliper Foods, says customers are turning to dissolvable CBD products because their portability makes them a good fit for consumers' on-the-go lifestyles. Consumers are also bringing the dissolvables to social occasions and cooking with them. To that end, Caliper recently released a selection of recipes for CBD enthusiasts.
Canada-based Dixie Brands, another player in the market, in 2019 introduced Fizz Tabs from the company's Aceso Hemp subsidiary. The water-soluble products are available in Calm, Soothe and Wellness formulations.
"Aceso and Dixie have spent nearly a decade combined investing in scientific research and technology that has unlocked the powers of hemp to deliver overgratifying results for our consumers," said Hilal Tabsh, vice president of marketing and distribution at Aceso, in a statement.
Jacobs says that Caliper’s customer base is evolving. A year ago, the audience was primarily Gen Z consumers, who are open to new products and are looking for overall wellness and alternatives to alcohol to relax, she says. While Gen Z is still the biggest customer group, "we're seeing a lot more consumers in that 45- to 60-year-old range, focused on their health and wellness and looking for cannabinoids to help with reducing inflammation, stress and anxiety," she notes.
Sleep issues remain the top wellness concern consumers are looking to address through CBD products, Jacobs says. She expects to see more dissolvable CBD use from athletes looking to aid their post-workout recovery.
So far, Caliper’s unflavored products are the business's top seller, but flavored SwiftSticks—available in Gingerberry; Blueberry Pom; and Mint Chocolate flavors—also have a loyal following, she adds.
Scoping Out Sales Online and Off
Caliper's dissolvables are sold primarily online, though they're also available in Hy-Vee stores and Circle K convenience stores in addition to Mother's Market. Until there’s standardized regulation of these products, Jacobs expects to see growth and interest driven largely by independent markets focused on health and wellness. "Their customers are already primed for these products, and there’s a trust factor," she says.
In these stores, ideally, says Jacobs, she wants her products in a 4- to 8-foot cannabinoid section within wellness/dietary supplements and vitamins. A secondary space is with the beverage coolers, and a third is at the cash registers.
These stores, says Jacobs, “have a loyal base of consumers and they’re really well versed on health and wellness.”