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COVID-19 a double-edged sword for CBD product launches - analysis - FREE TO READ

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Recent launches of products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are well-aligned with consumers' health & wellness trends that are developing in response to COVID-19. The potential growth of these products, however, will be hampered by consumers' distrust of the unfamiliar, according to GlobalData.

UK-based Calm Drinks unveiled Calm Water Immunity+CBD last month

UK-based Calm Drinks unveiled Calm Water Immunity+CBD last month

Health & 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. Recognising the importance of this trend, Calm Drinks' has just launched an immune-boosting CBD beverage, Calm Water Immunity+CBD.

''Consumers are seeking products that support their health & wellness," notes GlobalData consumer analyst Amira Freyer-Elgendy. "Calm Drinks' claimed immune-boosting attributes hones in on consumers' desire to be proactive about warding off illness, while the CBD element targets concerns around mental wellbeing."

Worries around mental health are especially prominent due to the restrictions placed on consumers' social lives, usual support networks and regular routines. Furthermore, 97% of global consumers are concerned to some degree about the pandemic, according to the GlobalData survey.

Freyer-Elgendy continues: "Globally, stress and anxiety were already one of the top three worries of consumers at the end of 2019. The pandemic has only exacerbated this, with consumers feeling anxious about their own health as well as those of their friends and family, job instability, reports about looming recession and dramatic shifts in everyday life.''

CBD is yet to earn consumers' trust, however, as more than one in ten believe it to have a negative effect on the body, according to GlobalData's 2019 Q3 global consumer survey. Large portions of the population are unaware of what the ingredient is or 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 have influenced consumers' buying habits globally during the pandemic period.

"Almost 40% of global consumers are not familiar with CBD," says Freyer-Elgendy. "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."

What does the return of big soft drinks brands mean for health & wellness? - Click here for a just-drinks comment


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