Cannabis Flower: An analysis of category data & performance

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August 12, 2021
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Introduction

Flower is the original cannabis product and consumers have stayed very true to it through time. In all states and provinces in which Headset has data, Flower is always ranked the number one product category by a large margin. Even with the rise in popularity of other consumption methods, like Vapor Pens, Concentrates, and even Edibles, Flower continues to be ranked number one.

In this report, we'll dive deep into the Flower category by looking at its sales through time as well as pricing, segments, and package sizes. We will also review some data about how the younger generation might be shaking up Flower's future and we will finish with some data around strains.

Executive summary

From January through June 2021, Flower was the largest cannabis product category in sales in both US and Canada. In the US, market share of Flower has remained between 40-50% in the last three years. In Canada, market share to Flower started in March 2019 at 78.4%, and has since decreased to 49.3% as of June 2021. When comparing to other states and provinces, Nevada and Ontario are the best places to sell Flower with the largest market share to Flower, with 56% of all sales to the category. Canada's most popular segment of Flower is Indica, which contributes more than 2/5 of Canada's Flower sales. In the US on the other hand, the most popular segment is Hybrid. In both the US and Canada, 3.5 grams is the most successful package size, which makes up more than half of each Flower segments' sales. When we look at demographic groups, we find that the older the Male customer, the more likely they are to spend their money on Flower. Within each age group, Female customers have a lower Flower wallet share than their Male counterparts, and the average wallet share for Females across all generations is about 40% compared to the Male's 47%.

Methodology

All sales, market share, unit volume, pricing, and demographic data for this report is sourced directly from Headset Insights. US markets include CA, CO, MI, NV, OR, PA, WA and Canadian markets include AB, BC, ON, and SK.

Market share by category in the US and Canada

Cannabis flower industry report: market share by category

So far this year (January - June 2021), Flower is the largest product category in sales for both the US and Canadian cannabis markets. In the US, Flower captured more than double the market share of Vapor Pens, the next largest category. Canadian Flower sales were also more than double the market share of Pre-Roll sales, the next largest category. Flower dominates the cannabis market year to date, but has this always been true? Let's find out!

Flower market share in the US and Canada

Cannabis flower industry report: Flower market share by country

On this line graph of Flower market share over time, we can see some interesting trends in this category's long sustained sales share over time. Let's start by looking at the market share of Canada. It's easy to see that Canada's Flower market share started with much success in March of 2019, with 78.4% of the market. It has since decreased to 49.3% in June of 2021. Canada's decline in Flower market share in the last two years can be explained a bit further. Flower was one of the four cannabis categories with which Canada started. Historically in all new markets, Flower tends to start at high market share and then drop because it is the least processed product type and therefore easiest to get to market quickly, and this remained true within the Canadian cannabis market. In January of 2020, Cannabis 2.0 products started being sold and the introduction of these new categories took away from Flower's market share. As a result, there was a dip of 9% in Flower's market share (69% down to 60%) between December 2019 to February of 2020.

In the US, Flower market share has continued to be between 40-50% in the last three years. The decrease in market share during 2018 can be attributed to the introduction of the Vapor Pens category. In January 2018, Vapor Pen's market share was 16% and grew to 23% by January 2019. The increase in sales during February and August of 2020 can be attributed to the Covid-19 Pandemic. During that time the market share for Vapor Pens, Pre-Rolls, and Edibles all were decreasing, giving some increase in Flower's market share.

Flower market share by state and province

Cannabis flower industry report: Flower market share by market

When comparing Flower market share across individual state and provincial cannabis markets, there are some differences. Nevada and Ontario stand out as the best market to sell Flower, with 56% of all sales to the category.

California is the recreational cannabis market with the lowest Flower market share, which is still 41.9% of sales.

Flower segments in the US and Canada

Cannabis flower industry report: Flower segment sales share

The Flower category is mainly broken up into three segments: Hybrid, Indica, and Sativa. The mix of these segments sales between Canada and the US differs quite a bit. Canada's most popular segment of Flower is Indica, which contributes more than 2/5 of Canada's Flower sales. Unlike Canada, the majority of US Flower sales comes from the Hybrid segment, not Indica. Found within the 'Other' segment is an assortment of CBD, CBD Popcorn, Hybrid, Sativa and Indica Popcorn, Ground Flower, Specialty/Infused, Shake, and Trim.

Price of Flower segments in the US

Cannabis flower industry report: US flower segments average prices

In this graph, we show the Average EQ Price (average price per gram) through June 2021 across four groups of Flower segments within the US. As mentioned before, CBD, Popcorn and Specialty/Infused segments were lumped together in the previous graph as 'Other', but now let's look at their pricing. In the US so far in 2021, Specialty/Infused Flower had less than 1% of Flower sales, but when you look within the Pre-Roll category, the Infused segment is making up 32% of the category's sales. It appears that Infused Flower doesn't have the same popularity that it holds within the Pre-Roll category, and as we can see above this may be due to pricing. Specialty/Infused Flower is two times as expensive per gram as the more 'standard' Flower segments (Hybrid, Sativa, and Indica).

Flower package sizes in the US and Canada

Cannabis flower industry report: Flower unit volume package size

Across all Flower segments and both countries, the most successful package size is 3.5 grams (aka an eighth), which makes up more than half of each segments' sales. One difference seen between US and Canadian package sizes is the lack of bulk packaging in Canada.

The Hybrid segment in Canada differs from all other Flower segments in both Canada and US. The Canadian Hybrid segment has 78% of its units being sold in 3.5 gram package sizes, when the other Canadian Flower segments have an average of 58% of sales coming from 3.5-gram package sizes.

Average price of Flower in the US and Canada

Cannabis flower industry report: Flower average item price by segment

In the US, Flower prices have increased 36% over the last several years. All three primary Flower segments are similarly priced in the US, but that isn't the same in Canada.

The Hybrid segment has a much lower average item price compared to the other two big Flower segments in Canada. The Hybrid segment had an average item price of $37.06 in June of 2021 while Sativa and Indica were priced around $44. The Sativa segment increased in price by 35% between March of 2019 to June of 2021, while Hybrid's average item price only increased by 18%.

How are demographic groups spending on Flower?

Cannabis flower industry report: Flower wallet share by demographic

The Flower category is certainly an 'old school' cannabis category and Headset's demographics data, available in Insights, backs that up. This graph shows the wallet share to the Flower category of various demographic groups defined by age and gender in certain US markets (CA, CO, NV, PA, WA). This means that if an average member of the group had $100 to spend on cannabis, they would have spent X% on Flower.

Here we can see that the older the Male customer, the more likely they are to spend more of their money on Flower. Male Baby Boomers customers spend more than 50% of their wallet on the category, making them important customers to any Flower brand. As we move from older to younger Male customers, Flower wallet shares steadily decrease. Notably within each age group, Female customers have a lower Flower wallet share than their Male counterparts, the average wallet share for Females across all generations is about 40% compared to the Male's 47%.

Amount of strains in the US vs Canada

Cannabis flower industry report: Number of cannabis strains by country

The Flower category has many different strains for consumers to try or for manufacturers to grow. With this image, you can see that the amount of strains sold in the US from January through June 2021 is over five times that of Canada. Within Canada, the top 10 strains make up 42% of Flower sales, whereas the top 10 strains only make up 12.3% of Flower sales in US. The main reason for this difference between US and Canada is due to the large amount of sales coming from the strains Indica Only and Sativa Only in Canada. Indica Only and Sativa Only are products grouped together when they don't have a strain name listed, the brand tells the consumer it is a Sativa or Indica and there is no further information on the packaging. The brands that are fueling these strains in Canada are Twd., Daily Special, and Original Stash.

To explore strain data further, check out the metadata dashboards in Headset Insights.

Conclusion

Flower is the biggest cannabis category in the US and Canada, and while consumers may choose other consumption methods here and there, Flower is here to stay as the dominant form for the foreseeable future. You can keep track of Flower and other categories in Headset Insights. Sign up for a demo today to see how you can stay ahead of trends in the cannabis industry.

Key takeaways

  • In the US, market share of Flower has remained between 40-50% in the last three years. In Canada, market share to Flower started in March 2019 at 78.4%, and has since decreased to 49.3% as of June 2021. Despite changes in market share, Flower is still the dominant product cannabis category in both countries.
  • Nevada and Ontario stand out as the best market to sell Flower, with 56% of all sales to the category. California is the recreational cannabis market with the lowest Flower market share, which is still 41.9% of sales.
  • Canada's most popular segment of Flower is Indica, which contributes more than 2/5 of Canada's Flower sales. In the US, the most popular segment is Hybrid.
  • There are five times as many strains in the US as in Canada.

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