New trend

Simon Manthorpe suggests that people’s reluctance to use over-the-counter prescriptions is leading to spikes in popularity for holistic remedies, such as CBD oil

With speculative benefits including relief for anxiety, muscle pain and skin issues, CBD oil is becoming increasingly popular with sales doubling from 125,000 to 250,000 between 2017 and 2018, with a market valuation in the UK of approximately £2bn by the end of 2020. Holland & Barrett were the first retailer in the UK to stock CBD-based products in 2018, but now it seems that the latest trends have thrust CBD oil into the limelight.

We conducted national research earlier in 2019 looking into the attitudes towards holistic remedies, with a specific focus on using holistics to help alleviate mental health issues. Alongside statistics finding that 38 per cent of Britons would indeed use CBD oil to help with their mental health, we found that almost a quarter – 24 per cent – of Brits would prefer to use holistics than prescribed medicine to help with health issues. This clearly shows the growing enthusiasm in the UK, helping these new trends emerge.

It is important to remember though that CBD is still in its infancy in the UK. There is still huge scope for growth in the UK. A sideways glance at the American market could provide a preview into what to expect.

At the moment, the US CBD market is ten times larger than its UK counterpart. This is to be partially expected due to the sheer size of consumer markets in the US, but we also know from Gallup polling that 14 per cent of Americans use CBD-based products every day. Last year, London’s ExCel Centre was home to the Europe CBD Expo. The business and consumer event showcased the leading international brands, senior level insights and global scientific research across all sectors of the CBD, Cannabinoids and Medicinal Cannabis industry. With over 30 speakers, 80 exhibitors and attendance in the thousands, the expo attracted an international audience of senior representatives from industry, government, clinicians, press and consumers looking to learn more about the latest developments and benefits of CBD, Cannabinoids and Medicinal Cannabis. The expo was a significant sign of the growth of the market in the UK and Europe, and a step in the direction of consumers and professionals alike opening their arms to CBD.

Rockstar ingredient
CBD products are finally being recognised as viable remedial products, and the popularity of holistic products is booming. Between 2017 and 2018, CBD sales in the UK increased by 99 per cent. These are the sort of figures that really make high street retailers stand up and notice. CBD is no longer just the new kid on the block. To have these sorts of events celebrating the industry, showcasing the very best products on offer and the leading industry experts, CBD no longer feels like the substance people have to be cautious or reluctant about.

Such has been the shift in attitudes towards holistic remedies, the cosmetics industry is now looking like the latest market to incorporate the use of CBD. The intersection between ethical and natural products is strongly intertwined with cosmetics already. Last year, Procter and Gamble led the way for large consumer corporations, owing their ten per cent organic sales growth to their foray into ethical skincare. At EOS Scientific, we have utilised our specialism within the CBD arena, and have developed our own brand, Ambience CBD, which is retailing in Boots and Holland & Barrett. This bold move has mirrored other consumer brands that are reacting to the speed 11of which CBD oil has emerged onto the consumer goods markets.

In addition to the cosmetics industry, the food and drink markets are swirling around CBD too. Announcing the launch of his new beer range, Cannabis Bier, at his Notting Hill pub, Bertie Blossoms, Ed Sheeran has become the latest global celebrity to monetise their passion for CBD oil, demonstrating its potential to be the Rockstar ingredient that food and beverage manufacturers have been pining for. Cafes serving CBD infused coffee have sprung up across the UK on a monthly basis and are thriving. Green Monkey CBD became the first CBD-infused carbonated drink in the UK too, highlighting the penetrative impact CBD oil has had within the beverage market alone.

Concrete platform
The food market has progressed with CBD at a slightly slower pace and is nowhere near as well retailed. CBD-infused foods are still relatively niche products that are typically reserved for market town stalls and artisan, gentrified high-streets. Nonetheless, CBD edibles are becoming more prevalent through the advent of gummies, whilst there is a growing appetite for incorporating CBD with baked goods.

2020 will certainly be a year for retailers to take notice of this growth. Five years ago, CBD oil wasn’t even recognised on the FMCG market; now, it’s a £300m industry that is expected to quadruple in value within the next two years. It’s an industry experiencing exponential growth and is certainly one that investors are becoming hugely interested in. With only five per cent of new products enjoying a successful shelf life with retailers, we can certainly testify that CBD is a concrete platform for enjoying success with retailers.

Simon Manthorpe is CEO of EOS Scientific. Developed by EOS Scientific, the UK’s leading CBD oil testing service, Ambience CBD is Britain’s first expert-led CBD oil cosmetics specialist. Ambience CBD is one of the UK’s fastest growing CBD cosmetics brands, launching its Everyday and Apothecary ranges into Boots and Holland & Barrett during 2019.