The cannabis industry as a whole continues to shift and grow, and the same is true for cannabis-infused edibles. For those looking to get a bit of a canna-boost without inhalable options like flower, vaporizers and concentrates, edibles are a great option that allows for consistent dosing, and the evolving market has made a multitude of dosing options, strain- and terpene-specific offerings, products with a variety of cannabinoids and an ever-growing array of food options increasingly more commonplace in dispensaries.
Cannabis data company Headset has newly analyzed trends and performance within the edibles category, for the period of January to September 2022 for the U.S. and Canada, and published its most recent report in late October. The report reveals that edibles have continued to grow in popularity in the two countries, uncovers the most popular product type, explores consumer preferences based on demographic and more.
Headset uses real-time sales reporting by participating cannabis retailers, via their point-of-sale-systems linked to Headset’s business intelligence software, to compile the data for the report. Sales data is from Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia in Canada; and Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Florida, Maine, Nevada, Maryland and Illinois for U.S. markets.
Cannabis Edibles and Market Share
According to the new report, edibles are the fourth-highest grossing category by total sales and share of the market in both the United States and Canada, though they are much more popular in the U.S. than up north. Edibles make up 11.8% of total sales in the U.S., six percentage points higher than the 5.8% observed in Canada, though the report notes one reason for this difference could be Canada’s 10 mg limit per package.
When looking at different states and provinces, British Columbia shows the greatest preference for edibles with 6.4% of total sales going to edibles. (Ontario follows at 5.9%, then Alberta at 5.3% and Saskatchewan at 5.2%.)
Colorado had the highest edibles preference of all states in the data set, at 14.8% of total sales in the state going toward edibles. Maine and Michigan trailed behind at 13.8% and 12.8%, respectively, while Arizona and Washington ranked last for preference of edibles, with 9.6% and 9.1%, respectively, of total sales going to edibles in the two states.
Looking at trends over time, edibles have grown in popularity from 4% of total sales in January 2021 to 5.8% of total sales in September 2022. In the U.S., that category has grown from 10.7% to 12.2% of total sales in the same time period.
A Closer Look at Edible Brands, Products and Consumer Trends
The report also looks at trends around brand count, finding different trends in the U.S. and Canada. Edible brand growth has been strong in Canada, as brand count has increased 73.7% since September 2021 and 43.5% so far in 2022. For the U.S., the brand count has increased by 4.7% year over year from September 2021 to 2022, but the brand count reached a peak in April 2022, declining by 7.4% since then.
In both Canada and the U.S., gummies are the most popular edible product by a long shot. Of the different segments within the edible category, gummies make up 73.9% of edible sales in the U.S. and 69.4% in Canada. Chocolate was the runner up in Canada, with 14.1% of edible sales, while caramels, chews and taffy narrowly beat out chocolate in the U.S., at 9.5% versus 9.4%, respectively. Honey, Sugar and Sweeteners and Savory Edibles were the two least popular categories in both countries.
As far as consumer preferences, Canadian millennial and Gen X groups, along with male consumers in particular, contributed significantly to total edible sales, though older consumers and female consumers also tended to purchase edibles more frequently compared to other categories.
Consumers in the United States showed similar category references as shoppers in Canada, though older consumers had a greater affinity for edibles. In the U.S., customers over the age of 41 made up 37% of total cannabis sales in the U.S., capturing 51.3% of all edible sales.
The report concludes, “It’s exciting to watch a category grow in the cannabis industry. We can expect this growth to continue as brands continue to innovate and find ways to reach new customers in the space.”