Q&A: Kadenwood's CEO discusses CBD company's growth
Erick Dickens, Kadenwood CEO and co-founder, is excited about the future of his company and the CBD category in general. He shared some of his insights into the marketplace with Drug Store News.
Drug Store News: Tell us about Kadenwood, its history and current status.
Erick Dickens: Kadenwood is a leading branded and biosciences company focused on elevating the CBD industry and bolstering consumer confidence in the wellness category through superior products, best-in-class operations, and through unparalleled investments in consumer education, brand building and in-demand creation.
Kadenwood was founded a little over a year ago, and we have rapidly emerged as one of the largest vertically integrated suppliers of hemp-derived CBD in the United States. With our recent acquisition of EcoGen, as well as our industry-leading operations and expertise in plant genetics, farming and manufacturing, we are able to deliver the highest-quality CBD products to market today.
On the branded side of our business, we have seen tremendous success with the launch of our first consumer brand Level Select, a performance-based CBD line of sports creams, roll-ons and oil drops that boast proprietary formulas with the highest levels of CBD; and supported by an industry-leading marketing plan that includes national television and radio, as well as a stable of professional athlete endorsers, including Rickie Fowler of the PGA, Steve Garvey of MLB, NFL player Carson Palmer and WNBA athlete Ann Meyers-Drysdale.
DSN: What makes the company unique in the CBD world?
ED: Kadenwood is unique on several fronts, starting from its inception. Kadenwood was founded by consumer products innovators and leaders from major CPG organizations, including Kraft, Dial/Henkel, Kings Hawaiian and others. We have put together a team that has spent decades launching and building household brands in partnership and in collaboration with retailers from all channels.
We are the only CBD company with a former U.S. surgeon general, who leads our medical advisory board. Our collaboration and partnership with Dr. Richard Carmona helps ensure that Kadenwood remains at the forefront of all CBD-related issues and practices.
Finally, and possibly most importantly, we understand that for the CBD category to grow, brands must invest in awareness building and in-demand creation. Far too many brands sit on retailer shelves today without any meaningful investments in creating demand or in driving retailer traffic. Kadenwood is completely different in this regard, and we are setting a new high bar for investment in brand building and in driving consumer demand and retailer traffic.
DSN: Why should retailers carry your product?
ED: For three primary reasons:
- Because Level Select works due to its high levels of CBD versus competitors;
- Because Level Select offers the absolute best consumer value with the lowest retail price per milligrams of CBD; and
- Because no other brand invests more in driving demand and retailer traffic than Kadenwood.
DSN: Where is CBD going to be in two years? What do retailers need to do to say ahead of the curve?
ED: We are extremely excited about the future of CBD. We are investing in a very big way in the future growth and expansion of CBD products and are building an infrastructure that includes best-in-class biosciences genetics, farming, processing and manufacturing, as well as building out a portfolio of resonant consumer brandmarks that are destined to become leading household brands.
As we have seen this past year, we expect that more CBD brands will struggle to keep up with the rapid pace of change that will continue to occur in the CBD space. There are sure to be more casualties, and it will become more critical than ever before that retailers partner with credible companies that can scale, that have an optimized supply chain, and that have leadership expertise that can help navigate the waters ahead. Kadenwood is that partner, and we look forward optimistically to the future and to the many customer and consumer relationships we have yet to build.