Last year brought triple-digit growth to Canada’s legal cannabis market. According to the Brightfield Group’s latest “Canadian Cannabis Market” report, this was largely driven by:
- Increased brick-and-mortar retail access – especially in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec;
- An expansion in e-commerce and click-and-collect offerings;
- Pricing that was more competitive with the illicit market;
- Retailers adapting to a pandemic context, helping prompt vast growth despite an unprecedented backdrop of lockdowns and store closures.
The Rise Of Value Brands
As the product selection continued to diversify and prices became more competitive in the Canadian cannabis market, an array of value brands emerged.
With lower prices, we saw increased customer conversion from illicit to legal markets.
This not only brought valuable traffic from heavier users to the former, but it also spurred an influx of completely new consumers making a foray into regulated markets as prices made the commitment of “giving weed a shot” much lower and less intimidating.
Commenting on the findings, Jamie Schau, international research manager at the Brightfield Group, said, “The Canadian market is witnessing impressive growth, with adult-use cannabis growing 118% in 2020 and in line to grow another 60% this year. That growth has ushered in a new era of adult-use cannabis, one that has brought not only an ever-evolving set of both 1.0 and 2.0 product offerings, but increasingly sophisticated and strategic competitors across the supply chain, and more diverse and demanding consumers.”
Improving The Experience
Another big trend of 2020 was that of Canadian licensed producers focusing on improving product quality, branding and consumer experiences. This, in turn, led to ameliorated brand recognition and loyalty across the market, the report says.
And we can only expect this trend to continue in the next stage of Canadian cannabis, the researchers assure. Brands will seek to appeal to a deeper, more diverse pool of consumers with their product offerings and messaging – all while balancing regulatory compliance with the innovation and quality a more mature market will demand.
As the market evolves, we will also witness continued partnerships and consolidation, with companies coming together to streamline and play to their strengths to successfully compete in a crowded field.
By The Numbers
Key findings of Brightfield’s report include:
- Adult-use sales increased significantly, from roughly $1.2 billion in 2019 to $2.6 billion 2020.
- Adult-use sales are set to grow another 60% by the end of 2021.
- Retail openings and price drops were notable catalysts for growth in 2020, especially in Ontario and British Columbia.
- Partnerships and M&A are ramping up — most notably, partnerships between Canadian LPs and U.S. brands.
- Value brands (especially in the flower category) continue to perform well as competitive prices have helped convert legacy users to the legal market and drive growth in demand.
- Distribution of THC drinks surged towards the end of the year, despite an overall lackluster year in sales. Brightfield projects the market share of drinks in Canada will grow to 7% by 2026.
“We look forward to watching the market continue to mature as retail openings and price competitiveness make cannabis more approachable for Canadian consumers, and compelling brands and products continue to surge,” Schau ended.
Lee en Español: Canadá Duplicó Ventas de Cannabis: USD 2,6 Mil Millones en 2020
This article was originally published on Forbes and appears here with permission.
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