Exploring brand affinity for Canada Flower and Pre-Rolls

August 10, 2021
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Introduction: What is brand affinity?

Brand affinity is the feeling a particular consumer, or group of consumers, has towards a brand. Brands resonate with different consumer groups for different reasons. By understanding which brands have a greater appeal towards various consumer groups, product marketers and product developers can better understand their market and make decisions about products to increase or decrease their affinity with target groups in order to grow their sales and market share. In this report, we'll look at some well-known brands and explore which consumer groups find these brands appealing.

How do you measure brand affinity?

By comparing sales patterns of different groups of consumers, we are able to determine which brands various consumer groups prefer. We can compare sales of a given brand to sales in the category as a whole and find brands (or products) that particular groups have an affinity for. As an example, let's say that Females make up 35% of cannabis sales but 70% of sales for Brand A. This would mean that Females have an affinity for that brand as they spend nearly 2x more on that brand than they do an "average" brand in the cannabis space.

Executive summary

We start by looking at cannabis categories, and find that Flower is the largest cannabis category in Canada, and Male consumers have a higher affinity for Flower products than their Female counterparts by age group. When we dive into the data of some popular brands, we find that Edison Cannabis Co has some mass-market brand appeal compared to a brand like Delta 9, which has a more targeted affinity towards Female Gen Z consumers. When we compare the Pre-Roll brands Redecan and 7Acres, we see that 7Acres appeals more to younger consumers and Gen Z Males, while Redecan appeals more to older consumers.

Methodology

For this report we examined sales in Alberta over the trailing six months based on our sample of retail partners. Using anonymous customer data, which gives us gender and generation, we can compare sales for each demographic group to find categories and brands that appeal to each individual group of consumers.

Category sales by demographic group in Alberta

Brand affinity in Canada cannabis flower and pre-roll: category sales by demographics

Let's start by looking at cannabis categories. Flower is the largest category in Canada with a 44% market share in Alberta. However, when we break down each demographic group by gender, we find that Females are less likely to spend their cannabis wallet on Flower with the average Female using about 41% of their cannabis wallet to purchase Flower products (compared to 45% for Males). This trend holds in all age groups with Females spending less of their budget on Flower. Female customers also tend to spend more on Beverages, Edibles, and Capsules.

Looking across age groups, we find that younger consumers are much more likely to be spending on Vapes than older consumers, with Gen Z spending nearly 3x their wallet on Vapes compared to Baby Boomers. Looking at this data, we can say that Males have an "affinity" for Flower products and younger consumers have an "affinity" for Vapor Pens.

A brand with mass-market appeal

Brand affinity in Canada cannabis flower and pre-roll: Edison cannabis co sales

Let's now shift our focus to brands and start by looking at a brand that has mass-market appeal, Edison Cannabis Co. This brand does not have any particular groups that demonstrate a strong affinity, rather they have a more a mass-market appeal. We understand this by comparing the percentage of the brand's sales that come from each consumer group compared to the category as a whole.

Looking at the data, we find that Males slightly over-index across all ages but these indexes are slight. For example, when we look at the Flower category as a whole, we see that it obtains 33.9% of its sales from Millennial Males, and Edison Cannabis Co obtains 34.8%. From this, we can say that Millennial Males have a slight affinity for Edison over an average brand in the Flower space.

Targeted consumer affinity

Brand affinity in Canada cannabis flower and pre-roll: Delta 9 sales

Next we examine a brand with a more targeted consumer affinity. Here we look at sales of Delta 9 Flower and find that this brand sees younger consumers have a strong affinity for their products.

Looking at Delta 9 sales we see that Gen Z Females contribute 7.1% of the total sales whereas they only contribute 5.4% of the sales for the average Flower brand.

Another data point to note is that Females over-index more than Males in every generation. Thus we can conclude that younger individuals have an affinity for this brand and that Females have a slightly higher affinity than Males, even after controlling for the age group.

Brand affinity for Pre-Rolls

Brand affinity in Canada cannabis flower and pre-roll: 7 Acres sales

Next we examine a couple of Pre-Roll brands. When we look at 7Acres, we find that this brand over-indexes to younger individuals with Gen Z strongly over-indexing, especially Gen Z Males. For example, for the Pre-Roll category, Gen Z Males make up 7.8% of sales. In comparison, Gen Z Males make up 10.4% of 7Acres Pre-Roll sales. This is an increase of 33%.

Older demographic groups seem less likely to buy 7Acres products. 7Acres see less of their sales to Baby Boomers than the category as a whole. For example, Baby Boomer Males make up 3.4% of Pre-Roll sales but only 1.7% of 7Acres Pre-Roll sales. This is nearly 50% less than the category on average! This means that Baby Boomers do not have an affinity for 7Acres Pre-Rolls.

Brand affinity in Canada cannabis flower and pre-roll: Redecan sales

In contrast, Redecan Pre-Rolls appeal to an older demographic. Here we find that Gen Z consumers do not have an affinity for Redecan Pre-Rolls with both Males and Females under-indexing.

The appeal to Millennial and Gen X consumers appears to be about average, but slightly higher for Males in these age groups than Females.

Comparing Redecan and 7Acres

Brand affinity in Canada cannabis flower and pre-roll: Comparing redecan and 7 acres

Putting the two brands on the same graph, we can more easily compare the different affinities.

Redecan Pre-Rolls are sold in 10-packs of .35gram joints and are rolled straight. Their website features products with straight forward designs. In contrast, 7Acres' website features dark purples and bright teals and focuses on high quality terpenes and high percentages of THC. Further, these Pre-Rolls are sold in single and multi-packs and are generally .5 grams in size. This focus seems to have won them the affinity of younger individuals, while the small sizes and clear packaging of Redecan lead to more affinity from older shoppers.

Conclusion

The graphs above demonstrated that different brands can appeal to different groups of customers. The demographics add-on in Insights Premium allows you to learn more about who is purchasing cannabis and the types of products customers prefer. Sign up for a demo to learn how you can drill into your product and brand affinity with the demographics add-on.

Key takeaways

  • Flower is the largest cannabis category in Canada, and appeals more to Male consumers with the average Female consumer using about 41% of their cannabis wallet to purchase Flower products (compared to 45% for Males).
  • Edison Cannabis Co has mass-market appeal, but Millennial Males have a slight affinity for Edison over an average Brand in the Flower space. The Flower category as a whole obtains 33.9% of its sales from Millennial Males, and Edison Cannabis Co obtains 34.8%.
  • Gen Z Female consumers have a particular affinity for Delta 9 over average Flower brands in Alberta.  Gen Z females contribute 7.1% of total Delta 9 sales whereas they only contribute 5.4% of the sales for the average Flower brand.
  • 7Acres Pre-Rolls appeal more to younger age groups while Redecan Pre-Rolls appeal to more older age-groups. This is like due to differences in the packaging and marketing of these brands.

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