CBD brand Trip expands its foothold in US, launches gummies with $12m fundraise
“We’re really excited to grow our North American community both online and in real life, sharing our delicious flavors and high-quality products with this market where there is a great understanding of CBD already,” Olivia Ferdi, who co-founded the company with her husband in 2019, told NutraIngredients-USA.
According to Morning Consult, roughly 65% of US adults were aware of CBD and one in three had used it as of January – a notable uptick from June 2019 when 60% of US adults knew about CBD and only one in three had tried it.
Ferdi attributes this increase partly to heightened stress levels related to the pandemic and its economic toll as well as a rising demand for healthy ways to manage their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
“While the last few pandemic affected years have been challenging for everyone, whether on a personal or business level, what has become clear is that now more than ever before mental health is intrinsic to good health,” she said, adding: “As the boundaries between home and work blurred and the pandemic created new stresses to manage, it was amazing to hear how our community has valued using Trip to work through the last few years.”
She noted that since the company launched just before the pandemic in 2019, its community has grown consistently with 94% of Trip consumers recommending its products to friends. This in turn helped the company corner 88% of the CBD market share in the UK, gain distribution in more than 11,000 retail locations and drive a 500% increase in revenue, according to the company.
Consumers also likely were drawn to Ferdi’s and her husband’s personal experience with CBD, which inspired the duo to launch their business.
“When my husband Daniel was recovering from an accident that required kneed surgery just before our wedding,” we were “amazed by CBD’s benefits” and decided to introduce more people to the ingredient by creating an award-winning line of drinks, oils and gummies that also include other adaptogens and botanicals “to help people find calm,” Ferdi said.
“Since then, we’ve introduced millions of people to their first CBD experience,” and “we’re so pleased that our community has enjoyed our authentically functional range as part of their daily lifestyle, alongside so many other choices like exercise and meditation,” she said.
New CBD gummies complement existing hemp-infused beverages
She added that the duo is looking forward to reaching more consumers globally and support their evolving needs with the help of this fundraise through the introduction of new products, including a CBD-infused gummy and a new liquid sleep blend.
The company’s new vegan wild strawberry CBD gummies are labelled as dietary supplements and are designed to “help you unwind and relax into your best self” with help from “premium CBD,” ashwagandha, chamomile and lemon balm.
They complement the company’s existing gummies that tout the same ingredients, minus the CBD, and wild strawberry flavor, and its line of CBD drinks that include 15mg of hemp extract and a variety of botanicals, L-theanine and fruit juice and come in a range of flavors including lemon basil, elderflower mint, and peach ginger.
While the company notes on its website that that a third party lab tests all of its CBD products to ensure they are THC-free and of the highest quality and purity, it also notes that “how your body adapts to adaptogens will be really personal – similar to how caffeine or alcohol can affect everyone differently,” and therefore it recommends consumers “start with a lower regular dose of one Trip drink or a couple of trip gummies during the day and take note how you feel.”
The funding, made available by investors including former Depop CEO Maria Raga and Apeiron Investment Group founder Christian Angermayer, will also support the launch of Trip’s new Dream Drops – a liquid sleep blend of CBD, lavender and chamomile “for good nights and happy days," according to the company.
‘Trip follows the regulations in each market we operate in’
As the company prepares to expand its footprint in the US it appears undaunted by CBD’s murky regulatory landscape, which includes a patchwork of state laws and in which FDA officials have said the ingredient is not a legal dietary ingredient as it was first investigated as a drug.
“We have always focused on growing our business sustainably, which means incredible products, consumer-first content, amazing partners and best practices when it comes to technical and legal matters,” Fredi said, adding that she was a lawyer in her previous career, which “has been helpful to ensure that Trip follows the regulations in each market we operate in.”
Despite a lack of regulatory clarity in the US that has kept many box-stores and larger retailers from stocking CBD products, Ferdi said the company is building its business with “strategic partnerships in the United States,” including Soho House & Co., for which it is the exclusive global CBD supplier, and Los-Angeles-based retailer Erewhon.
With their help and that of others, Ferdi said she and her husband look forward to continuing to cater to Trip’s community’s “mental wellbeing demands,” so that they can “find calm in the chaos through products that help them relax.”