In a presentation given at VitaFoods, Tim Phillips, Managing Director of Tamarind Intelligence, pointed towards a ‘self-regulation’ of the market that would not only raise but enforce standards as evidence increasingly supports CBD’s benefits .
“Companies have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars or euros on getting the toxicological data together for the approval process,” he said. “They’re not going to sit around while other products remain on the shelf.
“We’re going to see how much trading standards starts step up their enforcement processes as well but I suspect a lot of this is going to be carried out by the industry itself as renewed consumer appetite for the products means a growth in the CBD food category.”
Phillips added that he expected there to be consolidation and some increase in quality once products were validated and eventually approved.
“We assume that products which have not made an application for novel food approval are likely to be lower quality, and will be taken off the market, meaning the average quality will increase,” he said.
“Long terms, a properly regulated market will improve quality, and cause some consolidation, but we haven’t yet seen much evidence that this will happen quickly.
“Particularly in the EU, things seem to be moving very slowly, so the only products on the market are those which are willing to take the risk.”
Second only to the US
Phillips’ thoughts come as the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI) identify the UK CBD market as second only to the US, generating an estimated £690m in annual sales this year.
The ACI attributed this boost to the pandemic, which it said accelerated demand for CBD among stressed out and sleep deprived consumers.
“Anecdotally we are hearing that there is increased interest in wellness products generally, which would include this assumption, BUT we are a data company, and there is very little data to back this up,” added Phillips.
“We are seeing more retailers, both online and offline, carrying CBD products, but restrictions on marketing product with any sort of inferred medical claim means that we really can’t correlate this to increased demand for stress relief or sleep products.
“Also, retail patterns were obviously really messed up during COVID-19 lockdown periods, so again difficult to really unpick what is going on. I would say generally there is more interest in self-medication and wellness, so we would expect a pickup for CBD, and we expect to see this growth going into next year.”
The UK market’s promoted position places a spotlight onto its regu