Hemp food products are appearing more often in major supermarket advertisements in 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The number of ads featuring hemp protein, oil and shelled seeds has grown fivefold since this time last year.

In April 2020, the USDA began tracking the advertised retail price of select hemp-grain products published in weekly circulars from major retail supermarket outlets.

The National Retail Report for Specialty Crops, which also monitors fruits, vegetables, herbs and ornamentals, publishes the number of ads featuring hemp food products and the advertised price every week.

Hemp joins hundreds of other commodities tracked by the USDA, including staples such as dairy, eggs and meats.

The USDA retail reports focus on advertised specials appearing in weekly flyers, not everyday prices.

The agency monitors prices posted in roughly 300,000 supermarket advertisements across the United States.

Last week, 1,200 supermarket ads featured hemp food product tracked by the USDA, a 27% decrease from the previous week but an almost 400% increase from the same week in 2020.

As for 2021, the number of ads mentioning hemp products so far peaked in late April at 2,452.

This was a substantial increase from April 2020, when hemp-product mentions were only 200 to 400.

The low numbers were likely caused by an overall decline in supermarket advertising because of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

February was also a strong month in 2021 with 2,219 ad mentions during the week of Feb. 26 alone.

Andrew Long can be reached at [email protected]

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