The Cannabis Edible market is Big business. While edibles do not take up the majority of the cannabis market space – that category belongs to cannabis-flower – they do have a strong position.
It’s estimated that edibles make up between 12%-15% of the cannabis marketplace. Considering that the US pulled in $17.5 billion dollars last year according to this Forbes Article – the edible marketplace is worth anywhere between $2.1 – $2.6 billion dollars.
That’s a lot of cheese!
While many of us think about cannabis-infused treats as an awesome way to get a deeper, fuller effect of cannabinoids – the industry has been guilty of numerous bad decisions.
This is where BIG CANDY comes into play and where we need to draw the line within the objectives behind our marketing.
Okay Reginald, I’m intrigued…lay it on me!
Let’s start from the beginning.
Cannabis was illegal – and then it was not. Consumers have long infused cannabis into treats such as brownies, cookies, butters, etc.
When cannabis became “legal” within several states – those who were proficient in infusing cannabis started to have a customer base. This created the first remnants of the industry.
This is all still 100% okay. The problem started when cannabis brands thought that they could steal the intellectual property of other brands – and use it to make insane amounts of money in the process.
I’m talking about all the “Capn Crunk” and “”Cannabursts” and “Skittles” and the numerous copycat brands that push cannabis infused products.
While it’s fun to “joke” about your “cannabursts” (starbursts) – it’s an entirely different thing to take the exact same design, font, packaging as the original brand you’re trying to “knock off” and then sell it for profit.
This is called brand infringement and many cannabis brands are discovering just how awful it can be when the Lawyers of Mars Inc. and similar big name candy brands slap them with cease and desist orders and hefty lawsuits.
While a few years ago, this may have flown under the radar – $2 Billion dollars changes things considerably.
Why Infringe on Trademarked Property?
On one hand, it could verily be a naïve view of the world in where the person who came up with the genius idea thought, “They wouldn’t mind…would they?”
It turns out that “they” would mind very much!
However, if you’re smart enough to build a solid supply chain, create marketing and have a salesforce to push your product – I don’t think you’re very naïve about intellectual property.
I’d assume that they knew that at some point the hammer would fall. And this is actually very detrimental to the entire legality movement.
Of course – the companies in question will be affected, but these kinds of infringements reflect poorly on the industry as a whole.
It’s industry is already under a lot of scrutiny, and by creating trademark infringement lawsuits just opens a whole new angle for prohibitionists to use against the budding marketplace.
Furthermore – it’s fucking lazy!
Cannabis has such a rich lore to it – that you could virtually take a million different approaches to market your goods than to rip off an internationally established brand.
Why Copying the Branding of Candy Companies is a Dumber Idea than you thought!
The idea behind brand infringement is to tap into the “trust” these brands have established over the years. Why would someone infringe on Skittles’ brand?
Because people “know” Skittles and would be more likely to buy a product if they can say, “Oh – it’s like-Skittles.”
Except, Skittles spent billions in advertising to build up this trust within the public space – and the knock off brand knows this. They want to tap into this marketing presence, to “siphon sales” like some sort of parasitic entity.
But here’s the real kicker – copying candy brands is counter-intuitive to your marketing.
Why are candy wrappers so brightly colored? The answer is incredibly simple.
Kids are attracted to the bright packaging, which they associate with the sugary high – which means that candy bars are primarily created to attract a market segment that cannot purchase products like cannabis.
By emulating the packaging of famous candy makers – you’re literally marketing to kids. This is part of the reason why kids accidentally ingest these products because they are hardwired to go for them.
What this does is establish the case that “Kids are in danger of accidental consumption” which prompts lawmakers to…I don’t know…LIMIT THE FUCKING POTENCY OF THC IN PRODUCTS!
What if some lawmaker thinks, “5% is the safest for our kids” effectively harpooning the industry to death.
Just because some cannabis brand was too unoriginal to come up with something that is unique and targeted to the right demographics.
What makes the copycat move so idiotic is that if you properly rebrand the edibles to attract your ideal target market – you’ll eventually be able to become a “recognized brand” within the consumer base.
You’ll actually be able to become the “skittles” of your niche, which should be the objective for any edible brand!
Why not shy away from these bright and cheery colors and provide a more “rustic” feel to it? Why not create ecological packaging that reflect the ethos of the current zeitgeist? Why not incorporate more futuristic marketing that aligns with the next great push of humanity – space!
What Consumers Should do…
Of course, consumers are the ultimate power holders in this equation. Where you spend your money will dictate how brands react.
And if you’re reading this right now thinking – “fuck it, I’ll keep on buying the knock off infused brand” – just know that this could eventually lead to an extreme reaction from these brands.
It could slow down supply chains, make edibles more expensive due to new regulatory policies, etc.
As a consumer – target products that reflect on your ethos. Brightly colored packages are designed for kids, not free-thinking adults that’s exercising their right to consume whatever it is they want to consume.
The bottom line – brands, stop imitating a market made for kids and start focusing in on your own demographics. We don’t need any “Joe Camels” these days. There’s plenty of cannabis lore to get inspiration from – market to adults!
Consumers, you hold the power. Spend those dollars thinking about the larger picture.
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