Joe A.: On this episode of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast," Survey Says, listening to your feedback on premium CBD products, how we use customer feedback to help drive product innovation, retail sell-through, and crafting premium CBD health and wellness products. This is the "CPG & CBD University Podcast" and it starts right now. I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast." And if you are a returning listener, welcome back to our podcast. If you're a new listener, we are glad you found us on your podcast platform of choice. Hit that subscribe button wherever you get your podcast. And don't forget, full video episodes on our YouTube channel. That's the Global Widget YouTube channel and the YouTube channels of our brands. And when you subscribe, you'll get notifications when new episodes are published.

Well, customers of our in-house brands have a number of ways to purchase our products, either through our e-commerce websites or in retail locations nationwide. And we're always listening to your feedback to continue innovating our products and reaching even more of you. And joining me on this episode is Global Widget Director of Communications, Joe Brown, and wholesale marketing manager, Susan Bishop, both making their podcast debuts as we break down our latest consumer feedback and how data helps drive innovation, maximize sell-through and meet customer demand. Welcome to both of you on the podcast.

Susan: Thank you.

Joe B.: Thank you. Good to be here.

Joe A.: So, let's start off with some background on the survey and how the data, you know, is used. What exactly was the survey all about and how are we using it?

Joe B.: Yeah. Well, we use surveys all the time and they're pivotal to our ability to innovate and to satisfy our customers. So, with this data, with all our survey data, what we do is we take it and we look at it closely. We try to determine if there are any customer buying patterns or behavior that we should be aware of. We also try to see if there's any trends emerging. We're really big with that. We're obsessed with it, you might say. We want to see what's going on out there. And we also use it just to see what people may feel about our brands, what they expect from our brands. So, I know Vince Gillen, our VP of sales here, he's been on this podcast many times with you, he likes to say that we're a manufacturer who doesn't just make products but we make products that people buy.

It's a seemingly simple mindset, but it's really deceptive because there's a lot of work that goes into that, making sure they buy them. And one of it is to actually talk to people who are buying our products all the time. So, in this latest survey, we found out that 75% of these respondents actually bought other brands. And so, it gives us a good idea of what they expect from us and from their products. And we do this quarterly. We do it as often as we can. And we have a few interesting tidbits from this latest survey that we'll talk about in a little bit, but that's why we do these.

Joe A.: And Susan, talk a little bit about the margin of error. How many people respond to the survey?

Susan: I believe, you know, when you do a survey, you on average want to go for 95% confidence interval plus/minus, right? So your margin of error you want it to at least have it at five. We were able to get three times the sample size we needed. So, I think we were looking at maybe over, was it 20? No, it was 90,000 is what we sent out to. So we got three times the sample size that we needed. So, we got a pretty good confidence interval and our margin of error was 3%.

Joe A.: And let's break down what the survey says. And first we'll start off with the most popular types of CBD products. Any surprise here at all from what we found?

Susan: Not necessarily on the product side. What we did find surprising is basically what we received from Brightfield, like the mid-year report from Brightfield and a couple of years ago, the 2019 Gallup report on CBD products, they were all saying that it was skewing younger, right? So, people who buy CBD products are millennials and generation X. That's not what we found in our survey. We found that our users were very much in the 55 to 64 age range in the majority. I mean, they were all very close, but those were the ones we got the most. And especially when we look at it, the one thing we did differently in the survey that we've never done before is we had a net promoter score question. And we also asked me an open-ended follow-up question so we could identify loyalty factors as well. And the highest amounts we got as far as brand promoters, so these are people who would willingly recommend the product without hesitation, were in that category of the 55 to a 64 year-old. And that's not what we see in the general industry. So it's an interesting thing to note, and I think it's an interesting thing for our partners to understand.

Joe A.: And we've talked about products and Joe, we've talked about this before on past episodes with different guests, we've talked about it across our social media and in our communications out to customers, but everyone loves gummies.

Joe B.: Gummies rule. Definitely. So, we saw two-thirds of the respondents say that that was their favorite product from us. And that's been that way. In fact, it's been growing and I think it reflects what's happening in the industry. So, gummies are growing, becoming more popular, and I think a lot of that is because of the pandemic. Because of immunity support and other vitamins and supplements are easy to take with a gummy. A gummy is portable, you can carry it with you, you can take it wherever you want. It also has a...

Susan: It tastes better.

Joe B.: It tastes a lot better.

Susan: It's easier to take.

Joe B.: Especially if you're taking CBD gummies and you may not enjoy that hemp extract flavor. So, that helps with that. They also are slower digested, and so they last longer. So there's a lot of benefits to that. And we expected to see that. And we were actually seeing that a little bit earlier in some of our surveys than what the market was saying. Tinctures and oils are still very popular. They're second-most popular, but in the marketplace, a lot of the studies we had been reading showed that they were still leading and now we're seeing that change.

Joe A.: And speaking to the most popular types of CBD products, for the first time on our podcasts, only took us, you know, 85 or so episodes, just for listening to this episode of our podcast, we are inviting you to a single use of our promo code podcast 30, that's P-O-D-C-A-S-T 30. It'll be in the description of the podcast. You can save 30% on your next order from either Hemp Bombs or Nature's Script. That's podcast 30. Terms and conditions on each website. And that code will be good until the end of August. So, just a little treat, not only for those who responded to the survey, but for those of you listening to this episode. So, when it comes to gummies, the survey does show that high potency and sleep in our original gummies are pretty even, goes right along with industry trends?

Joe B.: Yeah. I mean, sleep is one of the major benefits that people get out of taking these gummies. And as Susan has mentioned that most of our respondents came from the 55 to 64. I know a little bit about that demographic and sleep is an important part of taking gummies for that reason, especially if they're melatonin gummies. We did see in some of the data though that not only did our sleep gummies do well and people use those to benefit themselves, but also just the high potency of gummies have been growing. And I think sometimes people just take the high potency gummies and it helps them get to sleep or it helps them with anxiety, and sometimes they need the melatonin in sleep gummies, but that was not a surprise at all.

Susan: Yeah. And there's no arguing that the COVID-19 pandemic has a lot to do with this. It changed the way we look at our overall health. I mean, you're seeing a lot more not just in this industry, but in other healthcare industries about overall health. So physical health, mental well-being. And so, that kind of trending, it's gonna cause some issues, it's gonna cause sleep, it's gonna cause anxiety if you've got mental repercussions because of what's been going on with the pandemic. So, the other thing that I think is also influenced by COVID-19 is the need for immunity gummies. There was a study done by the Council for Responsible Nutrition probably about August of 2020 is when they released the data. And it showed that a lot of people, I think what was the.... What did they say? It was two in five of dietary supplement users were changing their routines. So that either means adding, taking more, changing doses. But immunity was a big on the list of why they wanted to change their routines. So, I think us adding immunity gummies to the Hemp Bombs' line is something that is important that we do to make sure that we are meeting consumer demand.

Joe A.: We've talked about functional ingredients on some recent episodes of our podcast and obviously, the elderberry extract, one of that. And it's in those immunity gummies from Hemp Bombs that we released earlier this year expanding on our line of award-winning gummies from a year ago. Interesting note, and Joe B alluded to this earlier, three-fourths of respondents reported they've tried other brands. And almost identical 74% say our brands are better than other brands. Also what recent SPINS data shows on the retail side.

Susan: Yeah. The SPINS data at this...currently our SPINS data is I think 62% market share in C-store space for CBD. And one of the things we were able to do by using the NPS questions on this particular survey is it really helped us identify loyalty drivers because we really... What it was is we asked on a scale of 0 to 10, how likely would they be to refer Hemp Bombs to family or friends? And there was a follow-up question in terms of why did you rate us the way we rated us? And by analyzing that information, we're able to look at drivers as to why we think consumers are so loyal to the brand. Quality was definitely mentioned across the board and I think that came out in them mentioning quality just in plain text, but they also feel it works for them. In fact, the more promoters that we got, and I think we got about 75% promoters which is very good. It gave us an NPS score of about 71%. And when you think of Amazon having a 54% score, it's pretty good as far as when you look at things relatively, you can't look at these scores in a vacuum.

But I think we kind of feel that it's that, it's quality. They feel it works for them. The more and more they were promoters, the more they told stories about why they were taking it and how it worked for them. Taste was a factor as well. As well as the fact we do third-party testing, consumers are noticing that and that's a big deal for them.

Joe A.: Other interesting note is more than 60% of respondents said they would buy products both locally and online. So those who may shop online and maybe need that quick grab and grow, hey, I'm running out, forgot to order online can go to my local retail location. So, it really does show how e-commerce and our retail work hand in hand.

Joe B.: Yeah. I think this was important for us to talk about with retailers and the wholesale side, which Susan is blessed with that.

Susan: Yeah. I think it's an opportunity.

Joe B.: Exactly.

Susan: I think our partners, our distributors, our retailers need to see this as an opportunity that they are buying online. That means there's brand recognition. If there's brand loyalty, there's brand recognition. So they should be doing...we do a lot in terms of being a partner to our retail and our distributor partners to provide them with merchandising displays, with window clings, any kind of marketing material that they need. And I think that this is a good opportunity to consider where they're placing that they're using these materials because there is brand recognition. And if they're buying online and they see the brand in store, they're gonna buy it in store

Joe A.: And real quick to wrap up, you know, retailers who would like some more information, we're gonna be out and about coming up. We've got ASD Market Week in August, we've got NACS in October. And it's never too early, as crazy as this sounds, it's never too early to start prepping for the holiday season.

Susan: No, it's not, especially...and cold and flu season's coming up, so immunity is very important. So, let's, you know, definitely make sure displays are stocked. The other thing is if you want to find out what's going on in your region, as far as a market report, we're more than happy to do that as well. So, be sure to reach out to your distributor or your sales rep here at Global Widget, we can get that done for you.

Joe A.: Well, Susan, Joe, thank you very much. Great discussion on the survey. And obviously, for more information, you can visit our website at www.hempbombs.com/wholesale to learn more about partnership opportunities and also to subscribe to our podcast. Thank you again for joining me. Joe Brown and Susan Bishop, my guests on this episode of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast." Don't forget you can also follow all of our brands on our corporate networks, Global Widget on social media for all the latest news, trends, and industry happenings. I thank you for listening to this episode of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast." Hit that subscribe button wherever you get your podcasts to receive notifications when new episodes are published each week and full video episodes are available on YouTube. I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast." Thanks for tuning in

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. CBD products are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. Always consult with your personal physician about CBD and using CBD products. CBD should never be used by anyone under the age of 18. This podcast is not intended to provide legal advice regarding the legal status of CBD and CBD products.