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Kc Mutchler

Kc Mutchler

Consider Some Things When Getting Into The CBD Game

It's official, CBD products are here to stay. Google the term “CBD”, and you’ll find that it’s projected to be a $2.1 Billion industry by 2020, an astronomical jump compared to last year's CBD market of around $202 million. When it comes to CBD brands and their products, it can feel like you’re swimming in a sea of options. With so many brands coming out with their own CBD line and making claims about their product being the most effective and the best priced on the market it can feel overwhelming to know exactly what to stock your shelves with.

If you are not at all familiar with Cannabidiol products (aka CBD) then take a look at this helpful infographic to give you an overview of what these products can do for dogs. With CBD growing in popularity many states are legalizing hemp-derived oils. These oils are usually cultivated from a strain of the cannabis plant that produces only trace amounts of THC (which is the active chemical in cannabis, or marijuana). Once harvested, any residual THC is removed using a process such as chromatography, leaving only the beneficial cannabidiols behind.

CBD has been shown to help with a wide variety of issues pets are affected by such as anxiety and stress, moderate to severe pain, chronic inflammation, arthritis and joint pain, epileptic seizures, digestive issues, nausea, symptoms from cancer.

CBD products are actively being studied for all their possible therapeutic uses in both the human and pet sectors. Before jumping head first into the CBD game, be sure you check to see if such products are legal in your state of business.

Now that you know what CBD can do for pets and that its completely legal there's still a lot of factors that will play into your decision. So where do you start? Here's a few things to consider.

How Good Are You at Selling Supplements?

If the answer is “meh, not the best”, this is a great opportunity to get that category moving in the right direction. You can start by looking for brands that offer a wealth of knowledge and are backed by a supportive and passionate sales rep. Even better are any companies that offer online, easy-to-access training for you and your staff. 

Also, check out this article on increasing supplement sales in your store. Your expertise is so important in this category, if you don't know your stuff, it will become obvious very quickly.

Have More Than One Option

You don’t offer just one brand of food or treats in your store, so why would offer limited choices for such a quickly growing category?

Research shows that consumers prefer choice, however, customers need to be able to perceive meaningful differences between the options on your shelf. Simply put, you need several options that have clear differences and you need to be able to explain those differences in depth when a customer asks you.  

Know What You’re Talking About

Now, this is a complex category with a lot of information out there. Understanding how CBD works is key to making good choices about what products you carry. Do your research, call companies and ask for their “30 second in-aisle pitch” to a potential pet parent.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unclear about something. There is no greater resource then the product manufacturer if you have a specific inquiry. Some brands even have great resources available online, so the first place you look might be their website. 

CBD Recptors in Dogs  SuperSnouts Hemp Company has plenty of great educational resources, like the one above, on their website.

Keep Your Mind Open to Compatible Products

Most of us are probably familiar with the little bottles of CBD oil, which typically consist of a specific amount of CBD mixed with a base oil like hemp seed or coconut oil. However, with the growth of the pet CBD sector there are so many options and delivery systems out there available. Pet parents may struggle to  

What about alternatives like Colorado Hemp Honey sticks? Or SuperSnouts new Soft ChewsBoth are fantastic CBD products that offer an alternative delivery system to pets.

Consider the Supply Chain

Many of the CBD companies out there only sell direct, which is a popular way to bring in a new line. However, this can mean meeting expensive minimums and sometimes waiting a week or more to receive your merchandise.

Consider brands available through a distributor. This avenue of buying allows you to have less money tied up in inventory and keep exactly what you need in stock - you'll never again miss a consumer sale because you’re waiting to thin out your inventory before placing your next order direct with the manufacturer.

Colorado Hemp Honey Field Speaking of "supply chain" also consider where the product is sourced. Here is a great before and after shot from Colorado Hemp Honey; farming in the cannabis fields of Colorado USA.

Know Where to Merchandise It

Many of these products are high dollar in a very small package. Consider setting up an attractive display near your counter where you can both easily strike up a conversation about CBD and keep your eye out for sticky palms.

No room on the counter? How about a display case specifically for CBD?

Stores like IKEA offer inexpensive display cabinets like this one. Having a featured spot not only brings attention to the category, but can be an easy way to start a conversation with your customer. Oh, and if you decide to get a display case, make sure it’s well lit.

Know How to Merchandise It

No one buys the last few apples in the bottom of the bin at the grocery store. Shoppers generally don’t like picking over the last remaining products on the shelf, so make sure to stock your shelves well. Be sure to order at least two of each SKU you decide to carry, and carry at least three SKUs per brand. Less than this results in products getting lost on the shelf.

The faster you get your CBD section setup and featured (and start talking about it!), the quicker you’ll be seeing sales. Additionally, you’ll be positively affecting pets’ lives by offering a product with such a robust range of solutions for many of the issues they deal with.

Here's my friend Christy at Super Snouts Hemp Company walking through their line of products, and sharing her knowledge of the intricacies of CBD products for dogs.

Share Your Knowledge With Customers

Well, now that you've done your research, trained your employees, and set up an awesome product display it's time to get the word out that your store is the place to shop if pet parents are looking for pet CBD. Share the products you carry on social media especially if the product will be particularly helpful to pet parents at that point in time.For example, it would be an excellent idea to make a social media post about how CBD products you carry and how they can help anxiety from things like fireworks before Independence Day. 

Bark n Scratch Outpost in Milwaukee, WI shared their latest CBD product on social media and gave a little insight to what that product can do for pets.

If you wanted to take it a step further you can offer an educational seminar held in your store for pet parents curious about CBD. Many times pet parents will be curious about CBD, but never ask you about it. Offering fun group event 

Join The Game

With the growing popularity of CBD for both pets and people it's more important now than ever that you expand into this category. Be sure to do your research and train your staff so you are ready to answer any questions pet parents may have. With careful merchandising you can be sure to offer pet parents a wide variety of solutions for their pets. 

What are your thoughts on CBD products, have you had success in this category? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

About Kc Mutchler

Kc Mutchler is the Pet Food Experts Midwest Regional Sales Manager who oversees five territory managers. Kc has been passionate about animals since she was a young girl, nursing small animals back to health wounded by her cat. She currently lives in Chicago with her husband, new baby boy, and her 2 junior sales associates: Darwin, an Irish Setter, and Dewey, a Corgi mix. She's passionate about empowering her customers with resources, and right products necessary to help their stores not just survive, but thrive. And at the risk of causing mass riots in the streets of Chicago, she puts ketchup on her hot dogs.