Understanding Consumer Archetypes Amid Europe’s Growing CBD Market

By Noah Tomares, Research Analyst, New Frontier Data

Last week, New Frontier Data conducted the second in an ongoing series of webinars focused on the European CBD market. Industry experts from both Deep Nature Project and Mile High Labs joined New Frontier Data’s Chief Knowledge Officer John Kagia to delve into some of the opportunities and challenges present in the continent’s rapidly evolving market.

A convergence of scientific research supporting both cannabis’ therapeutic properties and its relatively low-risk profile, along with publicly widening support for relaxation of cannabis laws, have created multisectoral opportunities for cannabis. CBD is uniquely positioned to take advantage of such, as it the cannabinoid has fewer regulatory constraints than THC, and its nonpsychoactive properties present lower barriers to adoption. In addition, consumer interest in new wellness products has surged; in this time of acute economic upheaval — amid consideration of whether the cannabis industry is in practical terms recession proof — CBD may have found its moment.

Research has demonstrated how social media play a collectively critical role in building public awareness about CBD. Adults under the age of 35, for example, are shown to be much more willing to discuss CBD within their social circles, and as a group report higher numbers for having friends and family who consume CBD.

Frederik Hendriksen, Mile High Labs’ VP of International Sales & Business Development, noted the implicit opportunity to market directly to older consumers who are not receiving yet may respond to similar means of social reinforcement.

Consumer outreach and messaging on CBD can present substantial challenges. Consumers provide rather divergent reasons for their consumption. Older consumers tend to cite benefits for pain management, while younger consumers are more likely to use CBD to unwind. Self-reported reasons for consumption can substantially impact purchasing decisions. For example, consumers who report consuming CBD for medical reasons are far likelier to purchase the same brands, while consumers seeking general wellness express much lower levels of brand loyalty.

Differing regulatory requirements in Europe create additional hurdles. New Frontier Data has previously detailed some of the challenges associated with the United Kingdom’s novel food designation. Stephanie Britsch, Head of Marketing at Deep Nature Project, noted synergistic benefits of full- spectrum extracts, and discussed challenges associated with seeking approval to market a full-spectrum oil CBD product. Conversely, Hendriksen noted that Mile High Labs employs ethanol extraction, and utilizes CBD isolate to maintain consistent manufacturing practices and complete toxicology requirements.

More in-depth analysis of the European market for CBD, including consumers’ practices and their profiles, are available through New Frontier Data’s EU CBD Consumer Report Series: Segmentation & Archetypes.