Kratom, known scientifically as mitragyna speciosa, is a tropical evergreen tree that grows natively throughout Southeast Asia. It falls within the same family of trees as the coffee tree. While the kratom industry is not quite as big as the coffee industry, there are still millions of people throughout the world who incorporate this herb into their daily lives.
Mitragynine, the main alkaloid found in kratom, works on the same brain receptors as opioids.
The kratom industry can be lucrative if you know what you are doing, but there are plenty of kratom vendors who fail because they did not follow the process to successfully enter the industry.
Whether you want to launch a business dedicated to kratom or simply want to add it to the product offerings of your established business, you need to follow the process outlined in this article to set yourself up for success.
Step 1 - Learn About the Kratom Industry
The relationship between kratom and the US government is complicated. It is technically legal on the federal level. The DEA wants to see it banned, though. Their efforts have been similar to reefer madness in the early 20th century - sensationalist and not based on science.
The DEA made a huge push to get kratom classified as a Schedule 1 substance in 2016, but it ultimately failed because of advocacy from the kratom community. Several hundred users spoke out about the positive force this botanical has had in their lives. This effort was organized by the American Kratom Association, which is the largest advocacy group in the kratom industry.
Start with their website in your efforts to learn about the kratom industry.
Step 2 - Familiarize Yourself With the Kratom Community
The community of kratom enthusiasts is quite active online. There is a ton of activity on the kratom subreddit. You want to spend as much time as you can following the conversations that the users are having.
This is called “social listening” in the marketing world. The goal is to listen to conversations your target customers are having online. It allows you to learn their likes and dislikes about other brands, which you can use to guide your brand’s positioning and product offerings.
Even better is if you start participating. You do not have to be a kratom enthusiast yourself to join in on the conversation. There are also various forums and private facebook groups that are dedicated to discussing kratom.
Step 3: Work Out How Kratom Fits in Your Business Plan
There are a couple of different ways to enter the kratom industry. The first is adding kratom as a product to your already existing business. Owners of smoke shops, gas stations, and apothecaries are the most common businesses that fall in this category. You have to find a kratom vendor who sells wholesale, which we will cover in the next step.
The second is becoming a kratom vendor that specializes in procuring and selling only kratom. This typically takes more investment of both time and money. You have to do the legwork to find a quality supplier in Southeast Asia, and you need the logistics in place to receive and process shipments.
Step 4: Look For Kratom Vendors Who Sell Wholesale
While there are hundreds of kratom vendors out there, only a handful of them have the logistical capacity to sell kratom in bulk. You can do a quick Google search to find vendors who sell at the wholesale level.
Try and find a brand that sells their kratom white label. White label, also known as private label, is when the kratom vendor sells to a retailer and allows the retailer to put their own branding on the packaging. This allows you to build your own brand within the kratom industry without having to establish a direct supply chain with growers in Southeast Asia.
Make a list of wholesale vendors to go through in the next step.
Step 5: Choose The Vendor With The Best Price and Quality
The final step for entering the kratom industry is to select the best vendor possible. Achieving this requires you to have a framework that you use to judge all of the vendors on the list you made in the previous step.
The first criteria of the framework is price. You need to make sure you can get high enough margins off of your supply.
The second criteria is product quality. Remember the American Kratom Association? They have a good manufacturing process standards program that only the most elite vendors are a member of. The process to pass it is strict and includes having every batch lab-tested by an independent third party for heavy metals, contaminants, and alkaloid content.
You should only consider buying kratom wholesale from kratom vendors who are approved by the American Kratom Association.
The final criteria is the brand reputation. Can you find a lot of reviews on third party review sites like Google, Facebook, and TrustPilot?
Follow these five steps and you will set yourself up for success in the kratom industry.
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