The firm partnered with cannabis specialist Bod Australia in launching nine new hemp seed products late last month. Available in about 2,000 stores, including Chemist Warehouse, Coles, and Priceline Pharmacy, the offerings ranged from soft gel capsule supplements to skincare applications.
Specifically, the dietary supplement capsules are all hemp seed oil combined with either green tea, turmeric, MCT, or purely the hemp seed oil alone.
This is also the first time that the firm has launched hemp-based products.
Asked the initial sales response of its hemp-based products, Swisse MD Nick Mann, told us that retailer interest has been “extremely positive” and has allowed them to rapidly develop a sizeable footprint in both grocery and pharmacy channels.
“The potential is there, and while it’s still early in the launch phase, the initial sales are accelerating weekly.
“We believe this range will play an important role in the delivery of incremental growth for Swisse ANZ in 2020,” Mann said.
The target audience is the “progressive contemporary community”, referring to consumers who want to benefit their health and are environmentally-conscious at the same time.
The next level
Beyond hemp, Swisse has identified CBD as a key area for future R&D projects.
“CBD has the potential to revolutionise stress and mild anxiety management globally. This is our framework for development and innovation, and we have an unbelievably talented partner in Bod Australia,” Mann said.
He said that the firm has been preparing the business for the legalisation of CBD in Australia and planned to bring the compound to the market in the most efficient manner once they were given the green light.
“The mechanism for delivery is also evolving, so expect novel formats and blends,” he said.
Within Australia, while firms can conduct trials using CBD supplements, a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) spokesman told us earlier on that such products were not allowed for sale. This is because CBD fell under the Poisons standard as a schedule 4 prescription-only medicine in the country.
In Australia’s CBD space, most firms are dealing with medical cannabis and some are involved in CBD supplement business in overseas markets where the segment is legal.
“CBD products manufactured in Australia may only be supplied, imported or exported for medical or scientific purposes, as per the requirements of the international drug conventions,” said TGA.
For example, Bod Australia has been working with NewH2 in introducing its CBD health supplements in Europe, with the UK, Italy, France, and Netherlands as the priority.
Just this month, it launched four CBD capsule products under the brand ‘CBII’ in the UK through e-commerce channels.
The products are based on combinations of CBD, terpenes, herbs, and vitamins for improving general wellness and alleviating stress, anxiety, and inflammation.