California-based brand CBD Medterra is poised to gain increased visibility through a roll-out of a large pharmacy chain and clever digital advertising.
This week, CVS Pharmacy began supplying the shelves of 500 stores in seven states (California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and Tennessee) with products containing CBD, or cannabidiol, which is becoming more popular with consumers who treat a variety. pain relief, sleep disorders and anxiety.
Medterra, one of the first CBD brands entering CVS stores, will sell its topical refreshing cream, which uses a combination of CBD and other ingredients. And, according to Medterra CEO Jay Hartenbach, entry into one of the largest pharmacy chains could help clients become familiar with alternatives to analgesic drugs. Curaleaf, a Massachusetts company also known for its marijuana products, has also arrived at CVS stores.
Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Laguna Hills, Calif., Medterra has 71 employees and sells a variety of CBD products made from hemp grown in Kentucky. In addition to pain creams, he also sells tinctures, capsules and isolates. The company's CBD products are also used in foods of other brands, such as coffee and shakes from Chicago-based Protein Bar.
"It's a decision that CVS has taken seriously," said Hartenbach in an interview. "They really wanted the industry leaders to be on the front with their deployment and I think for them it was really important [that they not] wear the wrong CBD. "
The terms of the agreement have not been disclosed, although CVS has confirmed this news.
As part of the roll-out, Medterra products will be placed on tips located at the front of the store, giving the creams essential visibility. Medterra also plans to use digital advertising to attract visitors, which represents the first time that the company uses advertisements to bring consumers anywhere next to its own ecommerce site.
For the campaign, Medterra is working with the Cluep mobile ad platform to geolocate ads to anyone within five kilometers of a CVS that may be interested in a limited offer coupon. The campaign will also aim to redirect consumers close to selected CVS sites who have posted comments on public social media accounts to request recommendations on CBD products.
According to Hartenbach, CBD in CVS stores is a "natural fit" by introducing one of the brand's flagship products.
"For us, at Medterra, who work so hard and refuse to cut everything, working with a respected retailer like CVS is confirmation that we are doing the right things as a business, but it's really for the whole of sector, "he said. I said.
Current sales of Medterra products are approximately $ 4 million. However, the company expects this amount to reach $ 92 million by the end of the year, due to the significant rollout of retail outlets across the country. the country.
Medterra is already looking beyond pharmacies and the grocery sector. In May, a major grocery chain will begin marketing one of the brand's CBD edible products. Hartenbach refused to disclose further details.
As an industry, the CBD is still relatively new, which poses problems, for example by informing the public of its usefulness and its differences from other products such as marijuana, which does not Is still legal only in several states. This is particularly difficult because CBD brands still can not advertise on social media and must also pay attention to how they describe their so-called benefits.
The entry into the CBD market comes just over five years after the announcement by CVS in February 2014 of its intention to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in stores , making the company the first national pharmacy to pull tobacco products off its shelves. And even though tobacco has moved away from tobacco because of health risks, it could be seen as a major endorsement for an industry still under the regulatory microscope. (Next month, the Food and Drug Administration plans to hold its first CBD public hearing.)
Last week at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, CBD brands attempted to reach an important audience by sponsoring break rooms, parties, meditations, and even a series of concerts to contribute to the event. Integration of the CBD dialogue into traditional culture.
For its part, Medterra created the "Wellhaus" in downtown Austin, where 2,000 to 3,000 people went to learn about the products, drink CBD cocktails and attend a session. of yoga.
"As a CBD company, we realized that our industry posed a huge risk. [in that] it's very delicate, "said Hartenbach. "Poor messaging creates a huge risk, not only for us as a business, but for the entire industry."