The COVID pandemic has created strange opportunities in the cannabis industry.
Most analysts expected consumers to stay home and pinch pennies, but the opposite has proven true: consumers spent more on cannabis in the spring of 2020 than ever before. In particular, edibles and pre rolls outpaced overall industry growth, with sales increases of 60% in some markets.
As we move into 2021, the question is “how can entrepreneurs tap into evolving preferences and grow their sales?” How can you start or strengthen your edible product offerings or pre roll line?
At AssurPack®, we want to help you enhance or expand your edibles business — or help you offer your customers fresher-than-ever pre rolls. So, here’s our analysis of the latest trends and how you can use specialized cannabis packaging to leverage your success.
Cannabis Packaging and the Explosion of Edibles
Before COVID, edibles were a hot product category, especially in new markets where first-time consumers wanted to experience cannabis without the smoke. And the pandemic only furthered the trend.
As consumers grew leary of passing around pipes and vaporizers, they turned to edibles. The market analysis firm Headset reported that, in 2020, edibles sales grew by 60% in seven state markets, outpacing the growth of the industry overall.
Now companies are pouring money into marketing and R&D in an attempt to establish their market share.
A long-standing complaint about edible products is their slow onset. Ironically, the slow, gentle onset of edibles is dangerous too; it confuses consumers and tempts them to over-consume by taking more.
More recently, product engineers are finding ways to modify and emulsify cannabinoids (bond them with fats) to increase their onset speed. The emulsified fats absorb more quickly as they react with gastric acid in the stomach.
Another trend will continue and evolve in coming years too: multi-cannabinoid edibles. We’ve seen many 2:1 THC:CBD edibles in recent years. Those combo edibles are meant to leverage the entourage effect for a better high. But soon, as consumers become more savvy, expect to see CBG and CBD in the mix too.
Edibles Packaging: More Efficient, Protective
AssurPack® engineers are working to meet the demand for edibles too. Out technologies are designed to keep your products fresher, make your operation more efficient, or boost your brand.
We’re extremely excited about our patented AssurSeal™ D-Line, designed especially for ultra-fresh edibles. It’s laboratory proven to provide the tightest seal possible for a package of any type.
According to testing by third-party labs, AssurSeal™ wins a USP 671 ‘tight’ rating. That means it locks out humidity — or locks in humidity — better than any cannabis package on the market. Like all our products, it’s child-resistant for compliance. And its ergonomic D-shape slides easily into pockets and purses.
AssurPack® will increasingly offer automation-ready packages in the years to come. And many of our offerings — such as the SecurSlide®, AssurPouch®, and AssurClam® — give you increased automation options now. But the AssurCard® can cut out the most labor.
AssurCard® enables you to mold your chocolates or gummies directly in the blister pack. Instead of casting the edibles in a separate mold and transferring them to the package by hand, the direct-pour system skips the step entirely.
AssurCard® is also compatible with production equipment that pours dozens of edibles in one batch. You simply load the packages into the machine and carry on with other production tasks. If you’re ready for that level of automation, talk to an AssurPack® representative about your needs.
Pre Roll Sales on the Rise?
Pre roll sales grew nearly 50% in 2020 and, like edibles, outpaced other product categories. Industry experts were left scratching their heads. Now, we’re reforming our understanding of how and why modern consumers use pre rolls.
Traditionally, a pre roll was a social occasion, a cannabis product to be shared with friends. Yet nothing could be less COVID-friendly than passing around a marijuana cigarette. All the same, pre roll sales boomed during the pandemic.
It seems consumers love pre rolls for many reasons, but they may not be the reasons you expect. It’s impossible to know why a particular subset of consumers likes pre rolls, but market research firms have provided us with hints.
In 2020, consumers have turned to pre rolls because:
- Manufacturers offer smaller pre rolls instead of one-gram joints. Many producers are packaging ½-gram pre rolls that are suited for a solo session.
- Pre rolls are a good way to try new varieties of cannabis without purchasing an eighth or a quarter.
- New cannabis consumers can use pre rolls to try cannabis without purchasing a consumption device such as a pipe or vaporizer.
- Manufacturers are packaging top-quality flower into pre rolls. Pre rolls are no longer shake from the bottom of the bag.
Specialized Cannabis Packaging for Fresher Pre rolls
As noted by industry experts, high-quality pre rolls are a trend driving their adoption. They’re not shake — and they shouldn’t taste like it when they reach the consumer!
Over time, exposure to the elements can rob your pre rolls of their terpenes and cannabinoids. And while you can’t control how long your product sits on the shelf, you can seal them properly.
We’ve designed an AssurSeal™ variant especially for multi-pack pre rolls. The AssurSeal™ M-line, modeled after our popular MarBox®, features a classic flip-top opening that models a classic pack of smokes. Like its D-Line cousin, it’s certified to provide the highest level of airtightness (USP 671: Tight).
Leading manufacturers of humidity control packets have been astounded at how long the AssurSeal™ M-Line extends product freshness. You don’t need a humidity pack with AssurSeal™, but testing shows that the package’s airtight seal can extend the service life of a humidity pack for up to three years!
A Fresh Start
Given the popularity of pre rolls and edibles, it may be time to invest in marketing, packaging, R&D, new products, or new partnerships — anything that can tap into the hottest growth segments of the market.
If new packaging is in your future, feel free to reach out to AssurPack®. We do more than sell you packaging. We help you match your packaging to your production strategy for holistic efficiency and better results.