We can’t wait to see CBD products on the shelves in New Zealand and thanks to a successful visit from UK-based Vitality CBD’s Sales Director, Liam Cagliarini last week, it feels like we’re one step closer.
We invited Liam to visit New Zealand and meet with health and wellness stores who are interested in stocking CBD products once the law has changed. They were keen to hear about the range of wellness products and how they are sold in the UK.
“It’s been great to see such a positive reception to the Vitality CBD products,” says Medical Kiwi Chairman, Aldo Miccio. “Having Liam be able to share his knowledge and expertise of the product, how it’s retailed internationally and what the customer wants was really invaluable.”
Liam also spent time with our Board of Directors discussing the finer details of the exclusive distribution agreement we signed with Vitality CBD that allows us to import and distribute their wellness products.
“Being able to get insights from Liam on how an established CBD industry works will help ensure we can hit the ground running once legislation is passed,” says Aldo.
We sat down and talked with Liam about the exclusive distribution agreement with Medical Kiwi, what sets Vitality CBD’s products apart and what Kiwi’s can expect from their products.
Why did Vitality CBD decide to sign an exclusive distribution agreement with Medical Kiwi?
When looking for an appropriate distributor, we consider the alignment of our brand ethos with theirs. In Medical Kiwi we believe we’ve found a partner that shares our attitude toward ensuring CBD is safe and trusted, with a clear pharmaceutical backing.
Medical Kiwi are a good fit on multiple counts. First and foremost, their approach to research and development is tightly aligned with our own. That extends to their license for the cultivation of medicinal cannabis, and their plans for a state-of-the-art R&D facility. We want partners who are putting their weight and finance behind innovation and knowledge acquisition. That’s why we perform such extensive batch testing on all our products.
On a practical level, Medical Kiwi also represent a strong partner. We want to invest in a company that is looking to the future with CBD, and Medical Kiwi represent just that.
What do you think Vitality CBD will offer New Zealanders?
Vitality CBD has built a strong reputation over the course of just a year in the UK for three reasons. First, we’ve started from a point of prioritising product quality where other businesses have rushed to market with sub-par products. That means all our products are developed from premium organically grown sources, and contain 0% THC, with third-party lab reports to guarantee it.
Secondly, we take the time to ensure our partners and customers have the support they need. For the former, that involves great point of sale support, and for the latter it means providing clear, concise educational material to better defuse any confusion around CBD.
Finally, our team of CBD experts ensure we’re at the cusp of each new development. Not only does that mean New Zealanders will benefit from our ongoing research, it means that we can act as further collaborators with Medical Kiwi as they undertake their own.
As soon as CBD became legal in the UK, how quickly did the markets build?
Because there’s a massive buzz around CBD there’s already consumer demand for the products. Once the product becomes legal and can be distributed, the market builds quickly. In the UK, we have seen user numbers increase from 375k in 2018, to 1.3m in 2019. This is a significant increase and was due to the increase of availability of the product. Once the products were readily available in the main retailers, the market grew considerably.
What products or sales channels were the fastest off the block in the UK?
Traditionally CBD came in the form of nutraceutical products, like drops and sprays. As they were the first to market, they have established themselves as the most commonly used products. However, we are now seeing customers also using a high amount of topically administered CBD products – our 300mg Muscle Balm recently became our fastest selling product.
The United States of America has the most mature CBD market and we closely follow the trends so that we remain relevant to our customers. We are now producing a range of products to cater for specific areas including recovery and focus. We have also used key active ingredients such as turmeric and magnesium to further increase the health benefits.
People are still confused here about the fact that the products do not produce a high. Is there still a lot of education to do in the UK, or has that happened quite easily once legal?
Despite it being readily available in the UK, people who are new to CBD still believe that they will receive a “high” when they use the products. Education will continue to be a key part of our business. We publish extensive information on our website and social media and include detailed brochures with our products. We invest time in the distribution channels to train staff on our products, and the facts about CBD so they can help answer customer’s questions.