When you think about ways you can meet your customers’ health needs, you may immediately think of offering options like natural foods, clean labels, fresh options and products that are low in sugar or sodium — “health foods,” in other words, many of which are focused on physical health and weight loss.
But for the majority of consumers today, emotional and mental health are top of mind, even above physical and nutritional health goals. As consumers continue to prioritize their emotional and mental health, c-stores have an opportunity to meet those needs with functional products, including cannabidiol (CBD) products.
For our “New Foundations in Health Keynote Report,” Datassential recently surveyed consumers on which attributes they consider to be important to their overall well-being. According to the report, nearly two-thirds — 65% — said that emotional and mental health were important to overall well-being. That was the top answer, scoring higher than family relationships, physical health, financial health, and what consumers eat and drink. And that number increased to 70% of consumers in the Gen X generation.
Clearly there is an opportunity to meet these well-being needs, particularly as consumers start driving and traveling again. Getting back to “normal” is bound to add some new stresses to their lives, on top of the lingering impacts of an already stressful year.
We also know that consumers are open to purchasing cannabis and cannabis-derived products like CBD at c-stores. According to our research, 70% of consumers said they are extremely or somewhat likely to purchase these products at c-stores.
But when you look at your CBD offerings, is it clear to your customer that your product mix is designed to meet these need states?
To drive home the message, take advantage of manufacturer and distributor marketing materials and signage that showcase clear functional benefits to the customer, including terminology like “stress reducing” and “relaxing.” You may also consider separating CBD products that are clearly designed for the wellness consumer from those that have more “in-your-face” branding.
There are opportunities for both CBD supplements and CBD-infused food products. Consumers ranked “eating right” far higher than “taking vitamins and supplements” when asked what they believe contributes most to a healthy lifestyle, so functional CBD food products aimed at emotional and mental well-being can resonate with consumers.
A CBD drink or chocolate bar aimed at reducing stress can be a “self care” opportunity for consumers and prompt an impulse purchase. It can also be an easy way for them to incorporate functional options into their regular routine: 82% of consumers said they believe functional beverages can help them stay healthy without having to radically change their diet, according to Datassential’s “Functional Beverages Report.”
Meanwhile, though consumers prefer to manage their health through food, 63% of consumers reported that they take daily vitamins or supplements. When marketing CBD supplements, consider options that are “natural” or “clean label,” as 83% of consumers noted they are at least somewhat interested in clean-label supplements.
The lesson is clear: Many of your customers are prioritizing their mental and emotional well-being today. Now it’s time to meet those needs.
Mike Kostyo is the resident trendologist and senior managing editor at Datassential, a market research company that helps food & beverage companies of all sizes and segments innovate, sell and plan for the future, backed by the best data in the industry. He can be reached at [email protected].