The U.S. CBD market has become even more saturated in 2019, with a continuous flood of new or established companies creating CBD products to join the thousands already present in the market. Because the market has seen both sizable expansion and consolidation this year, the top 20 brands have technically lost share but still maintain the majority piece of a now much larger pie.
The industry is now being strongly influenced by several primary groups of competitors. Here are a few:
- Powerful CBD-only companies, which have been able to further develop reputations and establish brand loyalty, refine and improve marketing strategies, and grow larger and more diverse customer bases despite barriers faced under past and current regulatory systems. Examples: CW Hemp, CV Sciences
- Cannabis companies, typically multi-state operators (MSOs), leveraging vast dispensary and retail distribution networks, supply chain infrastructure, brand recognition and capital to create or expand successful CBD lines. Examples: Select CBD, Curaleaf
- Supplement brands with natural food store and mass retail chain connections, nutraceutical marketing experience, capital to invest, and established customer bases that are particularly prone to purchasing CBD-infused wellness products. Examples: Irwin Naturals, Barlean’s, NaturesPlus
- Disruptors: Those CBD brands little-known prior to this year, even in CBD circles, who have made tremendous headway over the course of months, many being picked up by large retail chains and thrust into the spotlight. Examples: MedTerra, Sagely Naturals, cbdMD
The top 5 CBD companies have continued to make names for themselves as the US CBD market grows over 500% in 2019 (Data as of December 9, 2019):
1. CW Hemp (Charlotte's Web)
Charlotte's Web has effectively risen to the top of the ranks by leveraging robust marketing strategies and integrating them with a values base tied to their core consumers. By deeply understanding who they are as a brand and identifying the consumers that resonate with their messaging, they have built the foundation for potentially life-long customers and advocates.
2. CV Sciences (Plus CBD Oil)
Success has primarily come from classic product formats (capsules, softgels) and adherence to quality, low-dose products - making PlusCBD Oil a safe bet for more conservative users. Additionally, their strong presence in natural food stores is unprecedented among CBD manufacturers and has helped them merge into the mainstream market - average consumers can easily find PlusCBD Oil products on shelves rather than having to go online and search them out.
3. Green Roads World
Green Roads has leveraged product diversity and quality to differentiate themselves in the market. By offering more unique, high-dose products, they can be seen as an innovator and those products better resonate with a variety of consumers. Similarly to Charlotte's Web, they have leveraged value-based marketing to fuel robust social strategies targeting their core consumers.
4. Medical Marijuana Inc.
The company offers a wide variety of CBD products in multiple distribution channels through its ownership of Dixie Botanicals, HempMeds and Hemp for Pets, Kannaway (direct sales), and Real Scientific Hemp Oil (RSHO) brands. The direct sales model has enabled Kannaway to leverage the community base of multilevel marketing networks to win trust and consumer loyalty and break down the stigma many mainstream consumers hold towards cannabis products.
5. Sentia Wellness
As Social CBD, the brand’s positioning is pure, powerful, trusted hemp products for people who care about their health. Under Select CBD, the brand had broad recognition and popularity established, especially in West Coast recreational cannabis states (due to its sister Select cannabis brand), but also well-known outside cannabis channels. Since the ideal CBD dosage is different for each individual, consumers are looking for products that offer their preferred CBD dosage. Social CBD offers many of its products, including patches, in many dosages to meet new consumer needs.