It is no secret that the hemp industry took a major hit during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Retailers across the globe had to make severe changes to all aspects of their businesses to stay afloat. But as the world begins to move on from COVID-19, where does the hemp industry stand?
According to Statista, “It is expected that U.S. consumer sales of cannabidiol (CBD) will reach around 1.8 billion U.S. dollars by 2022, which would represent a significant increase from around half a billion U.S. dollars in 2018.”
Niche sectors of the hemp industry were just beginning to emerge, with the vast majority focusing on CBD when the pandemic hit. Brands such as CBD American Shaman and Charlotte’s Web altered their marketing approaches and invested in diversifying their product line and price ranges. It was moves like these that allowed brands to persevere through the storm and emerge virtually unscathed.
According to Forbes, CBD sales in the US alone hit $4.6 billion in 2020. However, they predict the US market will expand to $15 -$20 billion in sales by 2025. They attribute the expansion of success to diversifying, research, regulatory clarification, and improving supply chains.
Minor Cannabinoids Are Making Some Noise
Minor cannabinoids have also taken a larger portion of the spotlight since the beginning of 2020. Cannabinoids such as CBN, CBG, Delta-8, and Delta-9 have emerged as popular sectors of the industry, allowing brands to diversity and expand product lines to accommodate more shoppers’ needs. As the industry continues to supply biomass to research facilities, more focus on minor cannabinoids creates a greater understanding of how the human body interacts with individual cannabinoids than previously allowed.
Brands that continue to evolve with the market can be expected to survive and thrive in the years to come, based on the market projects from Forbes and Statista. However, evolution with the industry’s fluctuating market flow is an absolute must for any brand.
Are You Ready For The CBD Consumer Shift?
According to Big Commerce, several large factors may have an impact on the hemp industry as a whole the further we progress into 2022. They predict a shift in target audiences as Gen Z shoppers gain a larger foothold within the shopping pool. As a result, a shift in marketing and sales strategies will be needed. Big Commerce also predicts wider legalizations of medical cannabis, creating new challenges for brands that produce Delta-8 and 9 products. And as always, marketing adaptions will always present a challenge.
However, despite the challenges hemp brands are expected to face in 2022, one thing is for certain. The hemp industry has recovered and is thriving. 2020 was a challenging year that made many brands go over their entire business strategy with a fine-tooth comb. The brands that emerged from the preverbal fire came out more flexible and diversified from the challenges presented by COVID-19.
Based on the projects for 2022 from multiple sources, it is going to be an exciting year for the hemp industry with new challenges to tackle. Expected to grow even more than in 2021, hemp products are becoming more popular with new demographics. It makes one wonder what is in store for the hemp industry in the years ahead.