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Emerging Categories: 2020 First Quarter Trends

The first quarter of 2020 is well underway, which means your new year goals and sales plans are ready to be executed. To help, each quarter we will be providing an updated report of the top emerging categories. Our team has researched the data from industry-wide resources, including WinMo, SponsorPitch, IEG, and trending news and media articles, so you don’t have to. Check back each quarter for the latest updates!

In 2019, CBD and hemp products were among the fastest growing industries and estimated to reach $22 billion by 2022. Although federal legalization is in the distant future, now is the time to start cultivating those relationships. Many of the companies listed below have named new CMOs this past year and have generally increased their marketing teams.

• MedMen Enterprises (Culver City, CA)
• KushCo (Garden Grove, CA)
• Charlotte’s Webb (Boulder, CO)
• NuLeaf Naturals, LLC (Colorado)
• Harvest Health and Recreation, Inc. (Tempe, AZ)

Hard Seltzer
The hard seltzer category is most popular with active, health conscious millennials. In 2019, hard seltzer brands signed its first sponsorships with the NFL, NHL, the Big 12 Conference, the Kentucky Derby and a few other sports teams.

• Bud Light Seltzer
• Bon & Viv
• White Claw
• Truly
• Full Transparency

Subscription Boxes
According to research, in 2019, 15 percent of online shoppers had signed up for one or more subscriptions to receive products on a daily basis. The companies listed below were selected by as the top subscription box companies whose budgets are predicted to rise this year.

• Boxy Charm
• Terra’s Kitchen
• FabFitFun
• Freshly
• MeUndies

Plant-Based Products
Plant-based foods are going from niche food markets to mainstream supermarkets. The following companies signed high profile sponsorships in 2019. A major player in the plant-based space, Beyond Meat, has expanded its leadership team by hiring a new CMO and marketing SVP. With the increase awareness on the benefits of plant-based diets and growing concerns about climate change, the plant-based industry is most likely here to stay.

• Beyond Meat
• Lightlife Foods

Over the past couple of years, well-funded national start-ups have entered this category and each company listed below has used major sponsorship deals to build brand awareness. These companies are focused on targeting millennials and Gen-Z. Overall media spending for this category is on the rise.

• Candid
• SmileDirectClub
• Aspen Dental
• Invisalign
• The Smile Generation

About the author: Lindsey Kemkes is the sponsorship specialist for Caravel Marketing. She brings valuable expertise in fundraising and event planning to the team and plays a critical role in revenue generating efforts at Caravel. Lindsey earned a strategic communications degree from Washington State University with a minor in environmental science.