Major grocery stores have taken out more advertisements this year for hemp food products than they did last year. This could signal an increased interest from consumers and a potential boost in this year’s market.
Since April 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been tracking the price of certain hemp products that were being advertised in weekly circulars from major supermarket outlets. These results are published in the National Retail Report for Specialty Crops, which also reports on fruits, vegetables, herbs and ornamental plants.
To make this report possible, the Specialty Crops Market News division of the USDA reportedly surveys the advertisements of over 400 supermarket retailers across the U.S., which is equal to over 30,300 individual stores and over 300,000 advertisements. This report shows the number of weekly ads featuring each item and the advertised price.
The number of ads increased dramatically in a single year
Hemp Industry Daily recently reported that the last week of May saw an almost 400% increase in hemp food advertisements over the same week in 2020. So far this year, hemp product ads reportedly peaked in late April with 2,452 ads that week, which is significantly more than the 200 to 400 hemp food ads recorded at that time in 2020.
The most recent USDA report states there were 1,827 advertisements for hemp products in major retail supermarket outlets between May 29 and June 10. These advertised hemp products included different sized packages of hemp protein, shelled hemp seeds and hemp seed oil.
The weighted average price for these products ranged from $8.44 to $15.58 for conventionally grown hemp food products. The weighted average price for organically grown hemp products ranged from $4.99 to $16.09. There was also more variety of products included in the organic offerings. These prices reflect the advertised special, not the regular shelf price.
Shelled hemp seeds are most popular in the Northeast
Eight-ounce packages of conventional shelled hemp seeds received the most attention with 360 stores in the contiguous United States advertising this type of product. This is up from the 307 stores that advertised it in the previous week and the 243 stores that advertised it this time last year.
Between May 29 and June 10, eight-ounce packages of shelled hemp seeds were especially popular in the Northeast part of the U.S. Of the 360 stores that advertised this product, 110 of them were located in this region.
The breakdown of advertisements throughout the rest of the country include:
71 in the South Central
57 in the Southeast
53 in the Southwest
50 in the Midwest
19 were in the Northwest
What does it all mean?
The National Retail Report for Specialty Crops can be a helpful tool to track trends. Perhaps one of the most important trends that it currently shows is that there are more advertisements for hemp food products in 2021 than there were in 2020.
This could suggest several things. On the one hand, it could suggest that more grocery stores are stocking hemp foods. This could be either because more consumers are buying those products or because store leadership believes consumers want more of these offerings.
On the other hand, the change in number of advertisements could also be showing the profound effect the COVID-19 pandemic had on retailers. The National Retail Report for Specialty Crops states that 2020 saw an overall decline in supermarket advertising due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so it is possible the change in hemp advertisements could be linked to this trend. However, the cause for this trend could become clearer as more data becomes available.