It couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Remedy +, a Colorado-based company, launched its first ever line of hemp-based performance products at the US Open Paddle Tennis tournament on March 1, 2020. To get the CBD-infused tinctures and salves onto shelves in country club shops and spas, a salesperson was just hired.
Within weeks, Covid had shut down the country.
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Tom Kurz, co-founder of the company, said that suddenly there was no place to put up displays to introduce Remedy+. He explained that this was because the company didn’t have any stores that could set up displays to promote the product to its target audience, “country club athletes” – people in their 40s who still want to compete. He said that online advertising would be the best place to pivot, but major social media companies, such as Facebook and Google, won’t allow CBD brand advertising for hemp-based products.
Chris Peck, co-founder of the company, said that the company did not have a physical presence nor online advertising and instead used informational web content as a way to promote the brand. Remedy+ funded research at University of Colorado at Boulder in order to determine the interactions between CBD and other drugs. This will help people choose which can be safely taken together. It also requested CBD and sports-performance content for Instagram and Facebook. The company is currently looking at adding a You Tube channel.
However, online demand had to be met with the ability to deliver these products to customers. Kurz and Peck put off their original plan of distributing through tennis and golf shops and instead turned to their investor network for funding an e-commerce website to be their new distribution channel.
During the shutdown, the company spent time to research and understand other distribution channels. Kurz said that convenience stores may stock the protein bar and two-ounce caffeine “shot” as an alternative to soda and chips. Spas may want to display the entire line of products, including tinctures and salves, in one display. The founders were able to quickly get their products onto shelves faster by examining the necessary relationships and physical delivery methods, they stated.
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Kurz said that there are still no rules regarding CBD product ingredients or how to label them. This is why earning trust from customers and distributors is an important part of Kurz’s company strategy. Kurz stated that the company is transparent about its ingredients and testing. Peck said that as the market expands and sellers look for more brands to stock their shelves, Peck stated, “We are trying to position ourselves to lead the line.”
Peck said that, pandemic or not, “it’s still a first or second inning” in the CBD market and that the situation is rapidly changing. He said that there are many brands on the market now, but he expects that only half of them will be around in a year.