Demand Drives Acres, Not Reverse

Hemp production-oriented projects are great, but without demand none of it will matter, more farmers will just be hurt like we’ve seen since 2019.

So then, how do we build demand for hemp, thereby driving acres? It appears few are working on it, other than individual companies each working alone developing their brand.

HempNut, Inc. created demand for it in the ‘90s, food marketing professionals spending $250,000 with food communications professionals to build this new thing called “hemp food” into something inspiring dozens of others to jump in. Over 100 million media impressions, thousands of newspapers, hundreds of radio, dozens of magazines, national TV, Tonight Show, sales in thousands of stores… it can happen again.

As a marketer who has trod this path before, I know it’s not that hard to do it right, especially with synergy by working together coöperatively. Despite the increased noise and competitors, it’s never been easier to market righteous products. With the marketing tools we have today, it’s far more sophisticated.

Hemp food is such an important category now that USDA tracks the retail prices weekly, the only hemp segment:

To build demand driving U.S. hemp acres, which product category should be targeted first? Clearly the low-hanging fruit is the one which already traditionally accounts for most of the industry’s acres, revenues, consumers, and retailers, and has the most potential ones… food from hemp grain. Like Canada:

National Industrial Hemp Council appears to agree that grain will be 70% of U.S. hemp acres in 2030:

A coöperative marketing effort coupled with regulatory changes can assure hemp grain a rightful place at the food industry table.

Richard Rose

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