US Cannabis Packaging Market Report 2021
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“Packaging is one of the most critical components of cannabis products, requiring a balance between what consumers want and what regulations demand. Packaging bridges the gap between consumers and brands,…

US Cannabis Packaging Market Report 2021

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the US Cannabis Packaging  market, including the behaviors, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Cannabis packaging has to check a lot of boxes to appeal to consumers while complying with a patchwork of state regulations and limitations. While aesthetic appeal is very important, especially with many brands still early in building awareness, functionally sound packaging is perhaps even more so. Among frequent users, a bad packaging experience carries a lot of influence on future purchases, or possibly product abandonment. Not only will packaging help create the foundations of brand identity, it is also a necessary and valuable tool in a brand’s educational efforts, especially in terms of environmental consciousness.

Relative newness and novelty coupled with the boredom and stress of lockdown created a protective effect for cannabis during the worst parts of COVID-19. As consumers spent more time with cannabis in general, they also interacted with packaging more often. Brands that met and exceeded expectations stayed in good graces, while those that caused various frustrations motivated consumers to try and seek out better options. Hemp and other cannabis products have been utilised in other areas to great success.

Packaging alone may not close the sale, but it is certainly part of the equation: While more than a third of consumers don’t consider packaging in their product choice, 62% of consumers say packaging influences their decision in some way. Both form and function nearly equally matter, although aesthetics should be considered the icing on the cake and not the star of the show. Draw consumers in with attractive design and deliver on functionality to keep them coming back.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our Cannabis Market Research and Retail market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the cannabis packaging market.
  • How recession impacts brand value statements (and how packaging can help).
  • The impact of bad packaging.
  • The ideal balance between packaging form and function.

Covered in this report

Brands: Delta 9, N2 Packaging, DYMAPACK, CRATIV, GRP, Canna Collect, FunkSac, Exotikz, Absolute Xtracts, Wana, Apothocana, Lowell Farms, Beboe.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Michele Scott, a leading analyst in the Retail sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Packaging is one of the most critical components of cannabis products, requiring a balance between what consumers want and what regulations demand. Packaging bridges the gap between consumers and brands, helping both sides express their identities in ways that extend far beyond cannabis. Aesthetic appeals should complement practical design elements, like resealable packages, with careful attention to ensuring that functional elements do, in fact, function well. While packaging’s role may be stealth for many, the packaging experience can have both a positive and negative impact on a brand’s future.
Michele Scott, Senior Analyst

Michele Scott
Senior Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
          • COVID-19: Market context
            • Economic and other assumptions
              • COVID-19: US context
              • Executive Summary

                  • Top takeaways
                    • Market overview
                      • Impact of COVID-19 on cannabis packaging
                          • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on [category], month 2020
                        • Opportunities and Challenges
                          • Cannabis and CBD are rising stars
                            • Figure 2: Trended substance use, 2019 vs 2020, October 2019; November 2020
                          • Consumers need to see to believe
                            • Figure 3: Attributes associated with packaging image presentation, November 2020
                          • Packaging can help consumers identify with brands
                            • Figure 4: Percentage who agree brands reinforce their image, by generation, March 2019
                          • Balance regulations with consumer focus on the environment
                            • Figure 5: Attributes associated with packaging image presentation, November 2020
                          • Create value with packaging solutions
                            • Figure 6: Frustrations with cannabis, by attitudes about cannabis packaging
                          • Art engages identity
                          • The Market – Key Takeaways

                            • Poor packaging is frustrating for the long haul
                              • Knowledge about cannabis influences packaging design preferences
                                • Track regional policies, regulations with an eye on the future
                                  • Green consumer concerns point to packaging opportunities
                                  • Target Audience by the Numbers

                                    • Half of consumers are heavy users; two thirds are habitual
                                      • Figure 7: Cannabis use in the past three months, November 2020
                                    • Packaging: an original influencer
                                      • Figure 8: Attitudes about cannabis packaging, November 2020
                                    • Packaging problems predict future feelings
                                      • Figure 9: Frustrations with cannabis, by attitudes about cannabis packaging, November 2020
                                    • Frustrated consumers are paying attention
                                      • Figure 10: Frustrations with cannabis, by desired features in cannabis packaging, November 2020
                                    • Deliver details to bridge knowledge gap among users
                                      • Figure 11: Important label information, by cannabis knowledge, November 2020
                                    • Confidence could use a boost
                                      • Impact of COVID-19 on cannabis packaging
                                      • Market Factors

                                        • Policy-related analysis from new administration points to legislative changes
                                          • Economic stress means packaging must do its job
                                            • Both old school and cutting-edge pack tech can expand the market
                                              • Package cannabis on the greener side
                                              • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                                • Technology lets brands do more
                                                  • Expand the idea of “safe” packaging
                                                    • Package like a mainstream CPG brand
                                                    • Competitive Strategies

                                                        • Treat technology as a problem solver
                                                          • Sustainability efforts can get everyone involved
                                                            • Safety first doesn’t stop with child-safe
                                                              • To compete, let products shine
                                                                • Connect consumers to the experience
                                                                  • On-trend aesthetics
                                                                  • Market Opportunities

                                                                    • Talk about packaging as if it matters (because it does!)
                                                                      • Figure 12: Desired cannabis packaging feature, November 2020
                                                                    • Bring cannabis products full circle with hemp packaging
                                                                      • Enhance the shift to online sales through packaging that reimagines what packaging should be
                                                                      • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                                        • Find common ground with label information
                                                                          • Protect product first
                                                                            • Attitudes toward packaging
                                                                              • Say more with style
                                                                                • Let product shine through
                                                                                • Label Information

                                                                                  • It all about the THC, but the total package is important
                                                                                    • Figure 13: Importance of label information, November 2020
                                                                                  • Women do not want to be surprised
                                                                                    • Figure 14: Importance of label information, by gender, November 2020
                                                                                  • Strain attracts a youthful crowd
                                                                                    • Figure 15: Importance of label information, by age, November 2020
                                                                                  • Occasional users find reassurance in details
                                                                                    • Figure 16: Importance of label information, by age, November 2020
                                                                                • Packaging Features

                                                                                  • Eco-friendly reaches consumers on a personal level
                                                                                    • Figure 17: Desirable features of cannabis packaging, November 2020
                                                                                  • Materials matter for women
                                                                                    • Figure 18: Desirable features of cannabis packaging, by gender, November 2020
                                                                                  • Remove the hassle for older consumers
                                                                                    • Figure 19: Desirable features of cannabis packaging, by age, November 2020
                                                                                • Attitudes toward Packaging

                                                                                  • Packaging is quietly powerful
                                                                                    • Figure 20: Attitudes toward packaging, November 2020
                                                                                  • Men want the total package
                                                                                    • Figure 21: Attitudes toward packaging, by gender, November 2020
                                                                                  • Choose packaging for the future cannabis consumer
                                                                                    • Figure 22: Attitudes toward packaging, by age, November 2020
                                                                                  • Cannabis experts prioritize packaging
                                                                                    • Figure 23: Attitudes toward packaging, by knowledge about cannabis, November 2020
                                                                                • Packaging Style

                                                                                  • Trust and attractiveness require careful balance
                                                                                    • Figure 24: Design themes, November 2020
                                                                                  • Build confidence quietly
                                                                                    • Figure 25: Discrete packaging associations, November 2020
                                                                                  • Trust hits differently for medical users
                                                                                    • Figure 26: Packaging associations with trustworthy, by use case, November 2020
                                                                                    • Figure 27: Color schemes, November 2020
                                                                                  • Bold color palates speak to men
                                                                                    • Figure 28: Color schemes, by gender, November 2020
                                                                                • Packaging Images

                                                                                  • An image is worth 1,000 words
                                                                                    • Figure 29: Attributes associated with packaging image presentation, November 2020
                                                                                  • Catch women’s eye with product photos
                                                                                    • Figure 30: Attributes associated with photos of the finished product on packaging, by gender, November 2020
                                                                                  • Expert eyes want to see the goods
                                                                                    • Figure 31: Attributes associated with see-through packaging, by knowledge about cannabis, November 2020
                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                          • Terms

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