What a great first NACDS TSE conference in Boston! We were happy to have some face time with many clients, both old and new, and heard about the latest and greatest trends in the industry.
For those who weren’t able to make it to the show, here are some of our top takeaways and trends from this year’s expo:
CBD is a Fast Growing Trend in the Alternative Medicine Space
Countless CBD and hemp-based health product companies were highly visible across the show floor. Marketed as the “cure-all” ingredient to combat anything from back pain to seizures, CBD’s rise in popularity and a changing public attitude toward cannabis-based products also requires companies to navigate challenges with inconsistent federal and state regulations. As more patients seek alternative therapies, other new challenges arise with an unmet gap in pharmacist education for safe and effective patient counseling.
Aside from these new challenges, many of these companies praise and market their life-changing therapeutic CBD success stories. Charlotte’s Web, one of the first brands to pioneer non-psychoactive hemp-based products, traces their brand story to their namesake, Charlotte, a five-year-old little girl who suffered from debilitating epilepsy. After an endless search for treatments and failed clinical options, Charlotte’s mother decided to try giving her Cannabis extract after reading about other success stories with similarly diagnosed children. After beginning treatment, Charlotte’s seizures exponentially reduced from 300+ per week to 2-3 times a month and is able to live a normal life.
The Evolution of Brick and Mortar Stores in the Digital Age
With the major shift to digital shopping in recent years, the brick and mortar experience has blended with online retail into a new evolved shopping experience. With the rise of e-commerce capabilities, such as embedded online and socially enabled “add to cart” features like Quotient’s own Elevaate brand product offerings, a once straightforward transactional experience has now become a multilayered online/offline customer journey. Companies are now also investing heavily in developing creative in-store experiences to drive both traffic and brand value through highly personalized and memorable customer interactions.
Many exhibitors took the opportunity at the show to creatively showcase their products through their own unique experiential event activations. American Greetings promoted their products by enlisting their own in-house writers and illustrators to create one-of-a-kind customized cards that you could send to anyone around the country! In such a digitally focused world, it demonstrated the power of the personal handwritten touch (and digitally extended shareable social moments!).
John Kerry on Global Leadership and Impact
Former Secretary of State John Kerry (2013-2017), highlighted the importance of global leadership in the drug development industry and global climate change in his NACDS keynote address. Kerry emphasized not only the importance America’s global leadership position on health crises like Ebola, but also stressed the consequences of focusing only politically inward and losing key essential leadership with other countries. He also reiterated the importance of investment in renewable energy in ensuring access to resources that will power the future of drug development and manufacturing amid the changing climate, reducing overall environmental impact.
Driving Growth and Product Innovation in the Multicultural Consumer Market
According to NACDS, multicultural consumers account for 43% of the buying power in top 10 markets and are expected to drive 92% of the total U.S. population growth in the next 5 years. Exhibiting across the show floor were many beauty and personal care brands targeted specifically to traditionally underrepresented multicultural audiences. As the face of America changes, brands are now realizing the importance of servicing the needs of a growing customer base.
Treat Yo Self: Increasing Demand for Men’s “Self-Care”
Along with the rise of multicultural targeted brands, front and center were a number of male-focused personal care brands. Traditionally a category dominated by women’s products, it’s obvious that changing cultural attitudes have pushed men as a huge untapped audience for products focused on masculine skin, hair and beard care. As more and more men opt in to focusing on their own “self-care,” we anticipate seeing more and more men’s product options on store shelves very soon.
Say It Ain’t So!
And for a memorable close of the show, NACDS TSE ended with a performance by Weezer! They played all of their classics along with their own rendition of TLC’s “No Scrubs.”
Thanks for the wicked good time Boston! We consumed enough lobster and clam chowder to last us until next time.
We look forward to our next event in just a few weeks, Groceryshop in Las Vegas! Stop by our booth #217 – we’d love to chat about all things Quotient and all the exciting new partnerships and product updates we will be rolling out this fall. Please feel free to set up a meeting with us by emailing [email protected].