CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the non-psychoactive compounds found in the leaves of cannabis plants. The substance has long been recognized in the health and wellness community for its purported benefits, which include pain relief and improvements to mood and sleep. However, despite its niche popularity, CBD did not enter the mainstream market until the passage of the 2019 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp cultivation at the federal level. With this legislation came a significant uptick in CBD product marketing, a trend that has continued to grow over the past two years. The current CBD-infused product market encompasses a broad selection of supplements and wellness solutions ranging from creams and gels to gummies and dog treats.
As a premier contract packaging service provider, the team at Econo-Pak recognizes the size of this product marketing opportunity. By offering professional and affordable packaging solutions for consumer goods products, we help customers bring their CBD products to market.
Growing Opportunities for CBD Product Packagers and Marketers
In light of the relaxing regulations regarding cannabis around the country, packagers and marketers across a variety of industries are capitalizing on growing public interest in CBD products. CBD sales topped at more than $500 million in 2018 and are expected to continue to rise as CBD becomes more accepted and accessible nationwide. A study performed by the Brightfield Group suggests that, within a few years, CBD products could be a $22 billion market, a growth trend that naturally extends to CBD and nutraceutical product packaging.
Types of CBD Products
Although early CBD products were limited mainly to oils or tinctures contained in glass bottles, the product options have since expanded to include edibles, topicals, and beverages, alongside traditional supplements, oils, and other wellness products. The diversity of the CBD products coming to market necessitates a broader range of packaging types, each of which is designed to protect the particular product’s quality and integrity while also allowing for marketing and nutritional information.
Some of the most common types of CBD products coming to market include:
- Beauty and personal care products. Within the beauty industry, CBD is most commonly found infused in skincare products due to the oil’s reported ability to reduce inflammation and acne. As fortified lotions, creams, and gels are some of the easiest delivery methods for CBD skincare, typical packaging options include tubs, tubes, jars, and pumps. Other healthcare products include balms and hair care products, in which case, plastic tubes and spray bottles may be more appropriate.
- Oils and tinctures. Oils and tinctures remain extremely popular with formulations available in a range of potencies, scents, and flavors. As these products must be protected from light and excessive heat to preserve their integrity, they are typically packaged in dark glass bottles that are often with dropped tops to facilitate delivery and dosing.
- Supplements. Tablets and capsules offer a convenient and portable option for CBD consumption. Packaging for these products tends to be bottles or blister packs. Gummies are also options in this category, which, like gummy multivitamins, may be contained in bottles or bags.
- Beverages. Although long-time CBD users are familiar with home-mixed CBD drinks, prepackaged beverage options are relatively new to the nutraceutical market. CBD energy drinks, waters, and alcoholic beverages are now available for legal purchase. For manufacturers who produce these products, packaging options include cans, pouches, and bottles made from glass, plastic, or metal.
- Snacks. The snack food industry offers the chance for creative experimentation with CBD delivery. Snack food distributors offer CBD popcorn, candies, bars, trail mixes, and cereals, all of which can be packaged in various wraps, pouches, or jars.
- Pet care. CBD pet care is another emerging market centered around treats and supplements. These products mimic their counterparts designed for human use and can include snacks, butters, capsules, and transdermal products packaged in jars, pouches, and wraps.
The Best Packaging Materials and Methods for CBD Products
As mentioned earlier, each type of CBD product benefits from packaging designed and manufactured for its unique needs. The best choice for a given situation depends chiefly on cost, formulation, and delivery method. Typical packaging used for CBD products include:
- Metal cans. Metal cans are generally used for energy drinks and carbonated beverages. Plastic or glass variations also serve as a viable option for these products. Metal is both cost-effective and easily recyclable, qualities which also tend to be important to health-conscious consumers.
- Glass containers. Small, tinted or opaque glass dropper bottles are essential for preserving oils and tinctures. Larger bottles are also ideal for packaging supplements or beverages.
- Paperboard cartons. Paperboard cartons are a classic option for candies and other bite-sized snacks. They provide a large canvas for advertising and informational content, with the tradeoff being their greater flimsiness. Integrating plastic inserts can mitigate this problem at a relatively low cost.
- Cloth bags. Cloth bags are a high-end packaging option suitable for more luxury candies or snacks. Although cloth bags are reusable, they provide less protection against moisture or damage than other packaging options.
- Plastic bags and pouches. Plastic bags and pouches are one of the most versatile, durable, and affordable packaging options for CBD products. They can include stand up bags or smaller plastic wraps.
At Econo-Pak, we use state-of-the-art packaging methods to achieve quality packaged products. Our capabilities include:
- VFFS. Vertical form fill sealing is an advanced, automated bagging solution that quickly and efficiently packages products in plastic pouches.
- Pouch filling. Stand up pouches are an attractive and convenient alternative to paperboard boxes. We specialize in rapid and accurate pouch filling to fulfill packaging jobs of all sizes.
- Flow wrapping. Ideal for firm CBD edibles, our flow wrapping services create custom bag shapes for products of any size. Incorporating three separate seals, flow wrapped packages afford maximum freshness with minimal waste.
Guidelines and Considerations for CBD Product Packaging
Although CBD is more widely recognized and accepted than it once was, its packaging and marketing still pose many unique challenges. The two main problems faced by CBD product manufacturers and distributors are legal and FDA/FTC restrictions.
CBD does not demonstrate psychoactive characteristics. However, its ability to be derived from hemp or marijuana, the latter of which contains THC (a psychoactive substance that maintains strict regulation in many states), results in a variance regarding the legality of its inclusion in consumer products from state to state.
Of greater concern is scrutiny from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding advertising claims. When including product or marketing information on packaging, it’s important to pay close attention to the exact wording of labels to ensure compliance with FDA regulations. In particular, the FDA and FTC warn against making unsubstantiated health claims. While it can be tempting to tout anecdotal benefits of CBD to boost sales, especially when so many customers claim to have found success with the product, it’s crucial to phrase benefits accurately with respect to the existence of evidence (or lack thereof).
As a general guideline, CBD product packaging should include the following:
- General label information and organization, including product name, label placement, and identity statements
- Contents and ingredients lists, including nutritional information and net quantities of active compounds, colors, additives, and potential allergens
- Product batch or date codes
- Product usage or application instructions
Learn More About Custom CBD Packaging From the Experts at Econo-Pak
Whether you’re looking for a box, a standup pouch, or a custom packaging design for your CBD product, Econo-Pak has the knowledge and skills necessary to provide a reliable and cost-effective solution. Our services are fully FDA compliant and Safe Quality Food certified, protecting you, your product, and your consumers from the hazards of improper packaging. With over 40 years of contract packaging experience, we have successfully helped numerous corporations navigate the complex and shifting trends of the health food industry, and we’ll work with you to achieve success in your own CBD product marketing efforts.