In case you’re worried about the beef that you recently bought at Kroger being contaminated with E. coli, the country’s largest grocery store chain, has an all-natural, plant-based solution. Jokes aside, Cincinnati, Ohio-based Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) announced this week that the grocer would begin carrying CBD products in select locations.
According to Rahcel Hurst, corporate affairs manager for Kroger’s Michigan division, over 90 stores in Michigan will have cannabidiol-infused products beginning this week. That being said, “quality and safety” was Kroger’s top concern when curating its limited selection of hemp-derived CBD products to hit store shelves.
While the 92 stores in Michigan set to begin carrying some CBD product this week represents just over 71% of its 129 Michigan locations, it represents less than 3.5% of Kroger’s 2,764 grocery stores across the United States.
“Like many retailers, we are offering our customers a highly-curated selection of topical products like lotions, balms, oils and creams that are infused with hemp-derived CBD,” Hurst commented via e-mail. “Our limited selection of hemp-derived CBD topical products is from suppliers that have been reviewed for quality and safety.”
Kroger’s topicals-first strategy echoes that of other nationwide retailers like Ulta Beauty, Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA), which rolled-out Cannuka‘s CBD-infused skincare product line nationwide in over 1,000 stores as it is hemp-derived, THC-free, cruelty-free and more.
Also, since Kroger’s main business is selling groceries, the chain will be more able to capitalize on the rising popularity of CBD products once the FDA releases guidance regarding cannabidiol-infused foods and beverages.
So far, there are zero search results for CBD through Kroger’s shop online functionality, but that may change in the near future once the locations begin stocking the products.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT), on the other hand, was selling CBD products through its online store for a few weeks but has recently removed practically everything hemp related except for Manitoba Harvest‘s hemp hearts from their site. Given the relatively high price point of CBD and Walmart’s humongous supply chain requirements, it may be a while before they roll-out the products in a meaningful way.
That being said, depending on the success of Kroger’s Michigan pilot in select stores, we may see them get a head-start expanding its CBD availability nationwide long before Walmart’s compliance division signs off.
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