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Does flavor impact cannabis beverage & edible sales?

Jul 30, 2020

In today’s blog post, we will be examining the variety of flavors in the Edible and Beverage categories. Before we jump in, make sure you've signed up for Insights Pulse, a category-level market read allowing you to explore our industry leading data set for free.

Alright, lets get into the data. In the past month, the Edible and Beverage categories have accounted for 12.16% of total cannabis sales in the U.S.; combined, the two categories have 73 identified flavors, ranging from Hibiscus to Red Velvet. With a high contribution to cannabis sales and a wide variety of flavors, the Edible and Beverage categories are extremely important to study. We wanted to understand the breakdown of these two categories by flavor, the popularity of different flavors over time, and the differences in Edible and Beverage flavor preferences by market.

Top 10 Cannabis Products (Edibles & Beverages) by Sales Volume

Stratifying by category and looking at the last month of data, we can see that Beverages and Edibles have vastly different popular flavors. For Beverages, Citrus is by far the most popular flavor, with Lemonade and Flavorless Beverages following behind. Together, Citrus and Lemonade flavors made up approximately 24.2% of Beverage sales in the past month. For Edibles, Unspecified Gummies are the most popular, and subsequent flavors include Milk Chocolate, Watermelon, and Raspberry. Milk Chocolate and Gummy Edibles accounted for about 14.2% of Edible sales over the past month. Both categories have popular fruity flavors, including Strawberry, Grape, Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Pomegranate, and Pineapple.

Similarly, the popularity of certain flavors varies by market and category. In all Canadian markets, Milk Chocolate is the highest selling flavor of Edibles. Milk Chocolate accounted for almost 40% of Edible sales in Canadian markets in 2020. In those same markets, Tea is the highest selling flavor of Beverages, which made up more than 5% of all Beverage sales in Canadian markets in 2020. In contrast, in the United States’ markets, the highest selling flavors of Edibles and Beverages tend to be fruity flavors, such as Lemonade, Grape, or Fruit Punch.

The popularity of these flavors has also shifted over time. By examining data from the top two flavors in each category in the past year, we can see a general upward trend in sales. In the Beverage category, both the Lemonade and Citrus flavors have made considerable growth over the past year; both flavors accounted for approximately 8.5% of Beverage sales each in the second quarter of 2019, and by the first quarter of 2020, they accounted for about 11% each. In contrast, in the Edible category, the percent of Edible sales due to Unspecified Gummies have slightly increased from 18.8% to 22.1%, and the percent of Milk Chocolate sales has decreased from 12.1% to 11.9%. When we look at sales numbers rather than percentages, both Citrus Beverages and Gummy Edibles have nearly doubled their sales in the past year.

Lastly, it is important to note that certain flavors are much more expensive than others. Just looking at data from 2020, we can examine which flavors of Beverages and Edibles tend to be more or less expensive. While honey is among the six cheapest flavors of Edibles and Beverages, the other five of the six cheapest Beverages/Edibles are all sodas, including Tonic, Cola, Root Beer, Unspecified, and Ale. All of these six flavors have average prices under $4. When we sort from most expensive to least, we see that (1) Eucalyptus, (2) Flavorless, (3) Milk, (4) Ingredients, and (5) Rice Crispy are the most expensive flavors, which seem to have no common features. The average prices amongs these flavors are all $9.80 and above, more than double that of the cheapest six flavors. For the most part, it appears that fruity flavors (i.e., Melon, Pomegranate, Pear, Blueberry, Fruit Punch, etc.) are among the more expensive flavors of Edibles and Beverages while dessert-like flavors (i.e., Chocolate, Sugar, Butterscotch, Peanut Butter, Snickerdoodle, etc.) and sodas account for most of the less expensive flavors.

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