ATLANTA — More than 23,500 individuals from 69 countries attended the 2019 NACS Show in Atlanta, which delivered four days of learning, insights, networking, and exploring what’s new and exciting for the global convenience and fuel retailing industry.
As always, one of the highlights of NACS Show 2019 was the expo floor, which this year spanned 425,000-plus net square feet and featured more than 1,200 exhibitors, from startups to big brands. The expo floor also included the New Exhibitor Area, 20,000 square feet of dedicated expo space spotlighting more than 200 companies brand-new to the show; and an all-new CBD Pavilion, a partitioned section of the expo that showcased hemp-derived CBD products from 50 industry suppliers.
The Convenience Store News editorial staff was out in force meeting with suppliers and checking out all the expo floor happenings. Here’s our rundown of the top cannabis and CBD takeaways:
Making Its Debut
Always on the lookout for the next big thing, c-store retailers are showing strong interest in cannabis and CBD (cannabidiol) products. For the first time this year, NACS opened up its annual convention to CBD companies, even dedicating a pavilion on the expo floor just to them.
The show served as the official rollout of Pure American Hemp Cigarettes to the convenience channel. The tobacco-free and nicotine-free cigarettes comes in four varieties: Regular, Menthol, Clove, and Lemon Haze. SinglePoint Inc. is the master distributor for the line.
Ignite CBD, meanwhile, believes its vaping products are a good match for the convenience channel. It sells both rechargeable vape devices and pods, and disposable vape pens. The one-year-old brand has a solid social media presence, according to company representatives.
At Miracle Nutritional Products, the spotlight was on health and beauty care (HBC) items infused with CBD. HBC is its fastest growing line, according to the company. Miracle Nutritional Products is on track to expand its portfolio to 100 products by year's end, with six new products launching in HBC. Vapor represents just a small portion of its business.
CuraLeaf Hemp, known in the space for its hemp-based CBD creams, is now launching the Souleaf brand geared to the convenience channel. With a lower price point, Souleaf will focus on topicals — namely, CBD oil, body lotion, lip balm and hand lotion. Recognizing that consumers will have questions, the company said Souleaf packaging will include a QR label that consumers can scan to get product information and ingredients.
In the area of CBD infused food and beverages, Docklight Brands showed off its Marley brand portfolio, which includes ready-to-drink iced teas, single-serve chocolates, wellness shots, and skincare products. Company representatives noted that state-level regulations currently dictate whether c-store operators can sell “ingestible” CBD products in their stores.
The 2019 NACS Show took place Oct. 1-4 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.