This year’s Hot 100 has one key differentiator: cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp products. While these products represent only a sliver of the most clicked products on CStoreProducts Online.com from Oct. 1, 2018, to Oct. 1, 2019, it reinforces how much intrigue there is behind this budding category.
The 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp with a tetrahydrocannabinol level of 0.3% or less, helped to push these products into the mainstream. Consumers have jumped on the trend for the reported health benefits, such as reducing pain and inflammation, improving sleep and reducing anxiety. Meanwhile, c-store operators have been more reluctant, largely because of yet-to-be-determined product regulations. But those that have added hemp and CBD products to their store mix are viewing it as new sales opportunity.
While all major categories are represented in the Hot 100, the list is largely composed of tobacco and foodservice products—two of the largest categories for c-stores in terms of sales. Cigarettes and other tobacco products made up 37.7% of in-store sales in 2018, while foodservice made up 22.6%, according to NACS State of the Industry data. Which brings us to the No. 1 most clicked product of the past year. It falls into either the foodservice or the tobacco category, but what will it be?
Illustration by Doug Chayka