LONDON — It’s high time Britons understood the benefits of CBD and plant-based wellness, and Standard Dose founder Anthony Saniger is ready to deliver that message to as broad an audience as possible, online and in-store.
Saniger is expanding internationally, planting the Standard Dose flag in Britain with a local web site and an exclusive distribution deal with John Lewis, which operates more than 40 department stores across the U.K.
Standard Dose sells its own products as well as premium brands including Moon Juice, Costa Brazil and Herbivore Botanical via a slick web site and a shop in Manhattan. The platform was founded in 2019 and also offers classes in meditation and mindfulness.
This is the first time the brand is being sold outside the U.S., while the John Lewis deal marks the start of a wider European expansion, online and in-store. The Standard Dose web site launched in Britain a few weeks ago with its eponymous CBD tincture and a selection of brands including Costa Brazil, Natureofthings, Mineral, Grown Alchemist and Plant People.
The retailer will be launching exclusively with John Lewis online from Thursday. The partnership also marks the retailer’s foray into the CBD, plant-based wellness category. Standard Dose’s plan, down the road, is to sell through John Lewis brick-and-mortar stores, too, and to open physical stores in the U.K. starting next year.
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CBD products generate about 40 percent of the Standard Dose business and demand — unsurprisingly — has increased since the emergence of COVID-19, especially in the stress and anxiety ranges, the brand said.
In the U.K., Standard Dose is launching with a collection of ingestible and topical plant-based remedies for anxiety, pain, inflammation, sleep issues, gut health, immunity, sexual health and skin concerns.
Standard Dose offers 800 product stockkeeping units and will initially launch a total of 150 in the U.K. via its own web site, with 100 selling at John Lewis. That assortment is set to grow.
Saniger, who was used to splitting his time between New York and London before lockdown, said opening here “has been a goal of mine since the launch of Standard Dose. I used to live in London, and have watched closely as the wellness market has grown in the U.K. More people are looking for access to plant ingredients and self-healing practices, and we want to continue to be that point of education and trust.”
He said the brand’s long-term vision “is to provide an open and informed conversation around the power of plants, and to empower consumers to elevate their mind-body wellness through vetted products and wellness experiences.”
CBD and plant-based products are not mainstream in the U.K., and their availability is spotty.
Boots, the high-end web site Cult Beauty, and vaping shops are among the few retailers that stock CBD products in the U.K., but there are not a lot of options and there is no dedicated, multibrand platform such as Standard Dose.
John Lewis was an unusual choice for such a launch: The chain is beloved of middle-class Britons seeking products ranging from dishwashers and tumble dryers to children’s school uniforms, baby strollers, TVs and computers. The store also offers men’s and women’s fashion and beauty, and its offer is practical and comforting, rather than cutting edge.
Asked why he chose the retailer for the launch, Saniger said not only is he a John Lewis customer, but “my goal is to reach as many people as possible and John Lewis was, and is, a trusted retailer. And it has a broad reach.”
Saniger said he looked at a lot of different partners in the U.K., but no one could beat John Lewis. “It’s the go-to store for so many people. I want people to be able to swing by John Lewis or know they can order our products online. I don’t want wellness to be a luxury item. Beauty and accessibility can go hand-in-hand, as can luxury and accessibility,” he said.
He believes that the U.K. could soon be generating 25 to 30 percent of Standard Dose’s revenue between John Lewis and the brand’s own e-commerce site.
Amelia Kendrick, beauty buyer at John Lewis, said the tie-up with Standard Dose “builds on our plan to modernize our brand, and to provide our customers with products and services they really want and need. We understand that CBD and the product category is growing in awareness and interest with our consumers.”
She added that the new partnership “allows us to unlock Standard Dose’s expertise and authority within the wellness space and to introduce them to the U.K. market. The beauty world is evolving and customers no longer seek one single product, but instead view beauty as a holistic lifestyle, including everything from gut health to beauty tech tools for DIY at-home treatments.”
She said the new online concept will sit within beauty on Johnlewis.com alongside makeup and skin care and the newly launched beauty tech category.
Overall, the Standard Dose products to be sold in U.K. include healing botanicals from adaptogens such as ashwagandha and reishi, as well as cannabinoids such as CBD. CBD is derived from hemp, a cousin of the marijuana plant that works by regulating the body’s endocannabinoid system. That system is responsible for stress and anxiety levels, memory, sleep patterns, pain and inflammation.
Standard Dose prides itself on its vetting process: The company said it screens each product for “efficacy, feel and experience.” Brands are also required to provide lab test results, while all products are sampled by the Standard Dose team, and sent out for independent, third-party lab trials to validate product claims.
As part of the U.K. launch, Standard Dose will also be introducing a meditation series called “Transformative Healing: A Series on Emotional Wellbeing.” The virtual, interactive workshops will look to explore topics such as sleep issues, stress and intimacy.
Britain is just the beginning of Standard Dose’s international expansion plans. Saniger is also eyeing Spain, France and Germany as potential new markets.