LAS VEGAS -- As one of the tobacco category’s larger convention and trade shows draws near, retailers attending the Tobacco Plus Expo (TPE) are certain to encounter a wide range of new and interesting insights, including the ever-growing number of products piggybacking the cannabidiol (CBD) and vaping trends.
Here are four things to watch for …
Cannabidiols, or CBDs
Offering a variety of products, from ointments to combustibles and hemp, CBD companies are going to be in full force at TPE. Demand is only growing for these medicinal remedies—a projected $22 billion business by 2022—that have little to none of the psychoactive chemicals found in marijuana, according to Rolling Stone.
With the passage late last year of the Farm Bill, include hemp in that growing industry, because the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 brought hemp from being a Schedule 1 drug (regulated on the level of heroin) to a Schedule 5, which compares to cough medicine. Industry observers believe the number of products in the hemp subcategory will only increase.
The major e-cigarette manufacturers are all signed on for a presence at TPE, including brand names such as Juul, blu and Logic. While pressure from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has put a damper on flavored products at retail, expect exhibitors to be talking about innovation and how their products will evolve to help combustible-tobacco smokers switch to alternative nicotine-delivery systems.
One of the fastest-growing categories in tobacco is cigars, and with many of the major brands represented at TPE, the expertise in the exhibit hall will be very high. Those following the category have said hand-rolled and natural cigars in particular are showing significant increases in customer demand.
Insights from Lakeville, Minn.-based NATO and Chicago-based CSP magazine are on the agenda, with industry data and interviews with convenience retailers all structured to keep retailers ahead of all relevant trends and news. NATO officials are conducting a half-day session on Feb. 11, and CSP has organized a retailer panel to convene on Feb. 13.