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Is CBD Joining the Fight Against COVID-19?

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Cannabidiol (CBD) has been established as a megatrend for quite some time now, with significant consumer discussions and products cutting across many sectors and categories. In one of our trend reports, published last fall, we featured a full analysis of CBD across four categories - confectionery, beverages, skin care and vitamins – and in light of COVID-19 and the obvious correlation with stress and health issues, we asked our solution experts to revisit their findings to see how CBD is manifesting at this time. The insights provided for this post are focused on the confectionery category.

Advanced analytics point to continued consumer interest in CBD

Consumer discussions continue to rise, with a tripling of positive posts since September. In Q1 if 2020, CBD figured in 1.6% of all consumer discussions in the sugar and gum category, representing a 54% increase from the prior quarter. Key Opinion Leader mentions also increased 33% from February to March, continuing the upward trend overall over the past year. (As a reminder, Q1 of 2020 was the quarter that COVID-19 emerged in consumer consciousness.)



External data sources provide additional perspective on product claims, which brands are taking the lead and what benefits consumers continue to associate with CBD.

The attributes associated with CBD are brain and mental health, allergies, sleep quality, relaxation and other associations to overall health like organic, vegan, gluten free, etc.



These match up well with topics and brands that come up in consumer discussions.



Insights yield a trove of market intelligence for food manufacturers to consider

Yet, as the below chart demonstrates, CBD continues to be an area in which demand outstrips supply, a big white space to be explored. Despite CBD accounting for more than 10%, of consumer discussions, less than 1% of products contain this ingredient, showing that brands have a long way to go to meet consumer demand. Nonetheless, it is interesting to see that even during the COVID-19 period, several patents were filed, suggesting that brands continue to think of ways to respond and innovate in this area.  



Connecting countless rich external data sources provides a holistic view of the market opportunity



When connecting consumer discussions, patent activity, product claims and change in influencer impact, some strong signals emerge, signals that business leaders can start to think about innovation and how to direct their business in a different way. For example, in concluding the above analysis, an innovation score of 86 is given to CBD in the gum and confectionery category, putting it at the top of new products and patents over the past two years, matched by a consumer score of 90, showing a huge runway for manufacturers to still capitalize on, even in the wake of COVID-19.

The Signals Analytics platform provides data coverage on more than 40 FMCG categories. Taxonomies are curated by domain experts for a level of granularity that produces real actionable intelligence. Configuration is end-to-end and includes an API for integration into third-party business intelligence platforms. To learn how Signals Analytics can work for your business, schedule a demo with our solutions team.

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Chris Thatcher
5W Public Relations 646-430-5161
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