Cannabis Concentrates: A look at category data & performance

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September 15, 2021
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Introduction: What are cannabis Concentrates?

Similar to the orange juice concentrate in the back of your freezer, cannabis Concentrates are the results of extracting the most desirable parts of the cannabis plant, thus yielding higher cannabinoid potency, namely THC. There are many methods of producing Concentrates, ranging from the fairly simple use of pressure and heat to create Rosin, to the highly sophisticated solvent-based extraction methods to create Distillates. Consistencies also vary by extraction methods and range from a glass like appearance commonly referred to as Shatter, to a thick but smooth, icing consistency commonly referred to as Budder.

In this report, we'll explore the current and past performance of the Concentrates category, along with pricing, segment, and package size trends, as well as demographic preferences for Concentrates. Let's dive in!

Executive summary

While not as dominant as Flower, the Concentrate category is an important category in both the US and Canada, with some differences in these two markets. For example, the US has 6.6% greater market share to Concentrates with 9.5% of total sales to the category, while Canada has a market share of only 2.9%. When we break the category down by segments, we find that Live Resin is the top Concentrate segment in the US with 33% of sales within the category. In Canada on the other hand, Hash is the best selling segment with 26% market share. Package size preferences differ in the two countries as well. In the US, 96% of units sold are the 1 gram package size, compared to 71% in Canada. When we look at strains, we find "Indica Only" is Canada's top strain and holds 17.9% share of the Concentrate market, while GG#4 is the top strain in the US, but only holds 1.4% market share.

Methodology

All sales, market share, unit volume, pricing, and demographic data for this report is sourced directly from Headset Insights. Graphs labeled "2021 YTD" cover the time period of January-June 2021.

Market share of cannabis categories by country

In this graph, we can compare the market share of different cannabis categories from January to June 2021. When we focus on Concentrates, we see that the US has a substantially greater taste for Concentrates in comparison to Canada, with 6.6% greater market share this year. Flower continues to dominate the market with Concentrates coming in at 5th place, trailing Edibles by only 0.4%. Since Cannabis 2.0 rolled out in Canada, Flower's market share has fallen significantly and now sits at 51.5% with the rise of Vapor Pens, Edibles, and of course Concentrates gaining traction in the market.

Market share of Concentrates by country

Even though the US has seen a decline in Concentrate market share in Q3 2021, the US continues to have significantly greater market share than Canada with more than a 5% margin. Concentrate market share in Canada grew quickly in early 2020 after the release of Cannabis 2.0 categories and still appears to be trending upwards, climbing to about 3% in a year and a half.

Market share of Concentrates by state and province

When comparing Concentrate market share across individual states and provincial cannabis markets, there are some significant differences due to the laws and regulations governed by each market. For example, Pennsylvania leads the Concentrate market share as they are a medical-only state with unique consumption regulations. Pennsylvania law prohibits certain categories like Pre-Rolls, since smoking cannabis even medicinally is still illegal. Cannabis Flower is the most recent addition to the approved list and was unavailable at the launch of Pennsylvania's medical program. However, it is important to note that smoking cannabis Flower is still prohibited in Pennsylvania. If a person wishes to use cannabis Flower medicinally, they must consume it by vaporization. Since vaporization is the most common consumption method of Concentrate products, it makes sense that this form factor would succeed in a 'smokeless' market.

Sales share of Concentrate segments by country

In this graph, we break down the sales share of Concentrate segments by country through June 2021. In the US, Live Resin dominated the market with 33% of shares, followed closely by Wax with 24%. In Canada, Hash holds the lead with 26%, and Shatter falls very close behind at 24%. While Shatter is a strong segment in Canada, Shatter holds 14% less market share in the US.

Package sizes by country

When looking at the breakdown of sales by package sizes, you can instantly see the differences between the US and Canada. The average US customer prefers to buy a one gram (1g) package size over a half gram (0.5g) with a significant unit volume share of 96%. With Canada's Cannabis 2.0 rollout, perhaps customers are trying smaller sizes before committing to the full gram.

Average price by segment in the US

When we focus just on US markets, we see that Concentrate prices mostly stay below the $35 mark. High-selling categories like Live Resin, Shatter, and Wax all have had consistent pricing for the past year, unlike the RSO/WPE/Full Spectrum segment, which had a significant price jump from below $20 dollars to over $30 during 2020.

Rosin only had 7% of market share in the US, with their average item price being the largest out of all segments with average prices often over $50. Apparently customers are willing to pay extra for a solvent-free product.

Wallet share by demographic group in the US

This graph breaks down Concentrate wallet share by demographic groups in US markets. As you can see, Gen Z Males held the top spot with 14% of their sales to the category, making them the most valuable customer. They are followed closely behind Male Millennials with 11.9% wallet share.

As you see, the older in age group you go, the smaller the percentage gets, perhaps due to the intricate process involved with Concentrates. A Generation-Z Male is more likely to purchase Concentrates over both Baby Boomer groups, who each contribute less than 5% of their sales to the category. Across all age groups, Male customers have higher wallet share to Concentrates than Female customers.

Market share of top Concentrate strain by country

Here, we look at the market share held by the top strains in each country.  Canada's top strain is "Indica Only", which holds 17.9% share of the market versus the US's top selling strain, GG#4 which holds only 1.4% market share. It's worth noting that there are many, many more strains sold in US cannabis markets than in Canada, hence the lower market share to each strain. If you'd like to explore strain data further, check out the Metadata Dashboards in Headset Insights.

Conclusion

Although a smaller category, cannabis Concentrates are unique and we'll continue to monitor these trends and more within US and Canadian markets. If you would like to stay ahead of this and other cannabis categories, sign up for a demo of Headset Insights.

Key takeaways

  • Concentrates are a more popular category in the US than in Canada. The US has 6.6% greater market share to Concentrates with 9.5% market share to the category, while Canada has a 2.9% market share to Concentrates.
  • Different Concentrates segments are popular in the US and Canada. Hash is the top segment in Canada, while Live Resin holds a dominant lead in the US.
  • Different demographic groups have different Concentrates preferences. We found that the older the demographic group is, the lower their wallet share to Concentrates. Male customers also held a higher wallet share than Female customers.

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