Episode 54: Wrapping Up the Year of More



Joe: On this episode of the "CBD University Podcast," it's the last episode of 2020, our year of more comes to a close. We take a look back at our year of more new products, more milligrams of CBD, more value, more flavors, more education. This is the "CBD University Podcast," and one more episode for 2020, it starts right now.

I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of the "CBD University Podcast." And if you're a returning listener, I welcome you back to our podcast. If you are a new listener, we are glad you found us on your podcast platform of choice. Don't forget to hit that subscribe button on your favorite podcast platform or on our YouTube channels, that's the YouTube channel of Global Widget and of our brands, Hemp Bombs and Nature's Script. No matter where you subscribe, you'll get notifications each week when new episodes are published. Well, 2020 certainly was a challenging year for just about everyone. And here at Global Widget, we hope that our year of more across our brand certainly helps you take advantage of the benefits of CBD and incorporate them into your overall wellness and health routine. Our year of more was all about you, more new products, more value for you, more milligrams of CBD, more flavors, more education, more and more, and even more. We take a look back at our year of more and what it meant for our consumers, retail, wholesale, and white label partners. And here to go through it with me from our e-commerce team, Charlie O'Brien. If you're watching on the full video, it is a three-guest episode. So, Charlie to my left, Scot Wooster to the center, and then Chad Levitt to the right. Welcome, all three of you, back to our podcast for our final episode of 2020. And I'm sure a lot of people are glad to see this year come to an end, but a lot of good things did happen here inside the walls of Global Widget and our manufacturing and distribution facilities.

Scot: Oh, yeah.

Charlie: Thanks for having us, Joe.

Joe: So, Charlie, let's first start off, across all our brands, consumers have enjoyed more new products. You work on the websites for each brand, and you were a very busy man this year. What have you heard from customers regarding our new products?

Charlie: Yeah. So, you know, throughout 2020, our year of more, we've run a couple of customer surveys via email. We also rolled out a new review feature on the websites that allows customers to leave product reviews, ask questions about the products right there through the site. So, you know, it's always great to hear directly from our customers, and that feedback is part of the reason why we updated some of our customer-favorite product lines in 2020, like our CBD gummies, oils, pain gels, vape, and lolly bombs. So, one of the things that we heard a lot from our customers with the pain freeze line, for instance, is that with the higher potency, the more CBD that we're offering, you know, they're able to use a little bit less of the product, so it lasts a little bit longer. So, it's of more value for them with that product. We also released some new topical products that our customers have told us that they really like a lot, including our CBD hand and body lotion, bath bombs, and lip balm. So, we're already planning some more customer surveys as we head into 2021. So, again, it'll be great to continue hearing directly that valuable feedback from our customers. And then we'll use that insight as we plan out new product launches, sales promotions, and other great updates for the brands.

Joe: And, Scot, on the retail side, obviously, more new products and more value for customers really translate into our retail and distribution partners because it's more new products for them to help maximize their sell-through.

Scot: Yeah. I think you guys covered it well. We increased unit counts for gummies, milligrams for tinctures and most of the products, but also we protected our retail partners and our distribution partners, meaning we gave the consumer more, but we held the price, so the margins were the same for retailers and distributors. So, we gave back to everybody in 2020, which was nice because it was a tough year.

Joe: And in this tough year, some exciting news on... Chad, your side, we introduced you back on episode, I think it was 32 with the GWCBD team, white label and raw ingredients, and you're not really new to the team anymore. You've been here half a year, but what about 20...

Chad: It seems like longer.

Charlie: It seems like longer.

Joe: I know. It seems like he's been here the longest of all of us. So, when we talk about white label and raw ingredients, what has this year been like as we continue to offer more vertical integration, excuse me, more products, and more compliance to benefit our white label customers?

Chad: Well, the opening of the division has really kind of opened our eyes. You know, as an organization, it's a lot of really what's out there. You get, you know, along with getting great information on, you know, what's moving in the trends in the marketplace. What we're finding too in addition to that is that there was a real significant need for quality manufacturing, whether it be a gummy product or other ingestible from a lot of these topicals that we've been discussing here already. That gap and that issue that we've seen in the marketplace, we've been able to cover that, you know, with our capability, with our ability to manufacturing tons of products. What we've been able to do with our capacity too is that take everything we know we've been successful at and then kind of quantify and multiply that based upon new customers coming to the same. I've got maybe a unique formula, there's something specific to them or something that's already in the marketplace, but they're having, we'll say issues with their current supplier or manufacturer, and we become that. And we've really filled in, showed a gap and showed this marketplace that we have such a great system, a great team, and great manufacturing capabilities that has really allowed a lot of these companies not only to convert some of their legacy products, but to introduce new products and new skews that have really kind of helped them to open up and expand into more opportunities that exist.

Joe: So, as we conclude 2020 and we look forward to 2021, something all of our customers will be hearing about in 2021 is how we continue to do CBD right. What does that mean for them, Charlie?

Charlie: Yeah, that's right, Joe. So, you know, one of the things that we're kind of really putting into play as we move into 2021 is that here at Global Widget, we don't just make CBD, we make it right. So, for example, like I mentioned before, earlier this year, we relaunched the new and improved Hemp Bombs CBD gummies. Obviously, all of us in here think that that's a great product, but, you know, as some external proof, those gummies were named the Retailer Choice Best New Product for 2020 in the CBD and hemp category, and that was based on a vote of more than 1,000 retailers by "CSP Magazine." So, that award plus the fact that those gummies are consistently ranked as the number one selling CBD retail product is just testament to the fact that we're doing it right with our CBD gummies and then the other products too. Furthermore, our in-house compliance team is doing a great job of staying on top of the latest changes in the legal and compliance spheres and also getting prepared for some expected CBD guidance that we're looking that's probably going to be coming from the FDA as we move into 2021 and just making sure that we are ready to go soon as that guidance arrives. So, we also opened our new extraction facility this year as we just keep even more of our processes in-house. Again, just making sure that we're doing things the right way. So, 2021, we're really excited and looking forward to continue telling and showing our customers more about all the ways that we're doing CBD right from that in-house formulation of our great products to our industry-leading testing and compliance and even more.

Joe: And, Scot, what are you looking forward to the most about 2021?

Scot: Getting past 2020. That's a good start. Actually, if 2020 was the year of more, from a sales perspective, I'd say 2021 is the year of data. From a sales perspective, the data is really starting to speak in retail as to what brands are actually moving the needle for retailers, and fortunately for us, Hemp Bombs is in the pole position. If you think about the data, we got about a 61% market share and convenience with Hemp Bombs, which is pretty amazing. But if you look at the number 2 player, they have a 24% share. The rest is 15%, that's for all these brands that people tested in the market that really it's not delivering results and not selling through. I think we're going to be able to share with our retail partners and our distributors what the data looks like so they can make better buying decisions on assortment and what they should be putting in the store. So, I think we're going to give a real value add back to our business partners.

Joe: And, Chad, what are you looking forward to the most in 2021 on the white label and raw ingredients side?

Chad: All kind of adding to what Charlie and both Scott said, and we start with Charlie's comment really about the gummies, and we all agree, you're right. They're absolutely fantastic-tasting. Well, that's our formulations department. And these formulations folks are actually making great products that are being, you know, made for other customers in the marketplace and CBD companies, and we've started expanding to other verticals, you know, side of CBD and having those opportunities and learning a lot through those experiences and taking all of our knowledge and all the successes we've had, including and moving over to what is selling in the stores data. And we can then translate that into conversations that we have with our white label partners and customers that we're working with and folks that we're working with now and just going through formulations at this point. But taking all of that data, taking all this, you know, obviously formulations knowledge, and these successes that we've had and translating that into contract manufacturing opportunities, and that's exactly what's happening. So, we've seen the company make significant investments through 2020, whereas we've seen in economy, you know, we've had some challenges obviously with COVID, but what we've seen is this organization has done a different spin and made significant investment into people, into plants, into equipment, and that's our version of PPE, you know. So, we've seen that from our executive leadership, and that just can translate and all that will pay off and all the things with the investment that have been made, because what that means is I talked about capacity, now it's more capacity. It gives us greater opportunity to sell more.

Joe: I want to thank all three of you for taking a look back at 2020 and sharing your thoughts on what 2021 holds for all of us. Again, Charlie O'Brien, Scott Wooster, and Chad Levitt from our team, my guests on this episode of the "CBD University Podcast." I wish you all a happy new year, and we'll get together again next year at this time and tell people what a great year it was for 2021 in the industry and here at Global Widget.

Chad: Look forward to it, Joe. Thanks.

Scot: Thanks, Joe.

Charlie: Thanks, Joe.

Joe: And I want to thank all of our listeners and viewers who have supported us throughout 2020, over 50 episodes strong, and we're not going anywhere. The first episode of 2021 drops the first week of January. We'll have predictions on the 2021 industry from "Hemp Industry Daily" and look for more great podcast episodes throughout 2021. And don't forget to hit that subscribe button and receive notifications when new episodes are published each week. I'm Joe Agostinelli, the host of the "CBD University Podcast." And on behalf of all of us here, we wish you and your family a safe, healthy, and happy new year. Thanks for tuning in.

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