Vitality CBD submits Novel Foods dossier: ‘Regulation a positive direction’
Birmingham-based Vitality CBD, whose products are stocked in the likes of Tesco, Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy, Sainsbury’s and Ocado and listed on Amazon UK, filed its Novel Food application for validation in mid January.
Assuming the application is validated by the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) before the end of March deadline, this will mean that the brand’s products can remain on UK retailer shelves after 31st March.
Asked about the current status of the application, Vitality CBD’s commercial director, Phillip Glyn, told NutraIngredients: “Feedback will be forthcoming within the coming weeks”.
Public register to be published
“We understand that the UK FSA will publish a Regulated Products Register which will confirm the status of all applications. This register will state if there is a validated CBD Novel Food dossier,” explained Glyn.
He added that the FSA is also developing a separate register which will be a ‘positive product list’. This will state the product name and retailer’s name and link it to a validated dossier.
“In this way, the consumer and trading standards can pick up a CBD product off the shelf and check if it is linked to a validated dossier and is therefore allowed to be on the market. If a company’s product is not on this ‘positive product list’ but they can prove their finished product is linked to a validated dossier then they need to liaise with the FSA to get their product onto the ‘positive list’,” he explained.
Navigating the Novel Foods application process
Compiling the data required for a Novel Foods application is a complex process.
Due to the administrative, technical and financial implications involved, Glyn predicts that the regulation “will undoubtedly reduce the number of brands and products on the market”.
As well as submitting its application in tandem with its raw material supplier, Vitality enlisted the help of an agency.
“This was a high priority within our business so we partnered with an agency to ensure all elements of the application were addressed correctly and in a timely fashion,” said Glyn.
Phase two of the process for all brands will be when the FSA assesses the whole application and finally grants full authorisation.
Awaiting clarity on assessment process
Glyn said the detail and timeframe of the assessment process is still “somewhat unclear, especially as the FSA has never been through this process before or granted a Novel Food licence specifically for a CBD product”. However, he is confident that “all will become much clearer” following the validation stage.
Despite the complexity of the approval process, Vitality welcomes the regulation, which it believes will help legitimise reputable brands, as consumers are guaranteed clarity as to the purpose, quality and contents of CBD products.
“Only applications with certain types of hemp-based CBD extract will obtain authorisation and full disclosure of supply chain is paramount to a successful application, therefore a more consistent and homogenous playing field will likely emerge,” said Glyn, confirming that Vitality’s CBD is hemp plant based and imported from the USA.
Poised for future growth
In his view, regulation is a positive direction for any emerging industry, especially one as fast growing as CBD in the UK.
Currently worth in excess of £300 million in the UK and projected to grow to £1bn by 2025, CBD has outgrown the vitamin C and D markets combined, according to Vitality.
“Being the only fully regulated market in and around Europe, the UK has substantial potential to grow exponentially ahead of other European markets. However there will be temporary problems to overcome surrounding Brexit and the associated administration issues,” noted Glyn.
Bricks and mortar retailers and pharmacies are important routes to market for Vitality CBD, and the company predicts that these channels will be at the forefront of future CBD sales in the UK because they generally source from reputable suppliers and can provide a more consultative approach to customers.
“With a more in-depth understanding of bio-availability, dosage and potential drug interactions, consumers are now turning to pharmacies to source reputable and safe CBD products to use, providing a surge in popularity and profitability for CBD within UK pharmacies,” said Glyn.