Cannabis in Confectionery: Craving Disruption?

September 2019

Cannabis is disrupting most major FMCG industries from alcohol to beauty, and pet care to pharma. But what about the confectionery industry? Facing stalling growth and a sugar rush of health trends curtailing sales, diversification and value-added opportunities are essential. Could the seemingly unlikely bedfellows be sharing drivers, positioning and branding attributes that are synergistic? Could confectionery provide a key format for the next stages of cannabis’ evolution?

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Maturity means that US confectionery is on the defensive

With volume growth in confectionery stalling on the back of saturation and health trends, value growth opportunities will be provided by embracing premiumisation, incorporating functional inputs and ingredients, and developing synergies with cannabis.

Confectionery and cannabis share certain drivers, positioning and branding attributes

Origin, provenance, natural credentials and craftmanship are relevant to both confectionery innovation and the latest cannabis trends. At the same time, confectionery being an ideal format for precise dose control has the potential to be instrumental in facilitating the targeting of specific mood states – an approach that will increasingly steal the limelight from cultivars.

The “green wave” is already hitting many major fmcg industries, while adult consumption of confectionery is rising

It could be argued that adult use of cannabis-infused confectionery is a niche concept without the potential for significant sales; however, both sugar and chocolate confectionery have had a historic association with cannabis during the twilight years of black market sales, and that association has already been utilised by pioneers building niche but rapidly growing brands spanning the spectrum of confectionery.

Synergies between cannabinoids and terpenes

While the mainstream and trade press appears still to be focusing mostly on the false dichotomy between THC and CBD, hundreds of lesser known cannabinoids and a belated focus on terpenes will radically change the key offerings and landscape of innovation in the medium to long term.

Cannabis is entering the mainstream, embracing pop culture and breaking stereotypes

Legalisation has yet to pass the federal threshold in the US, but it is making strides on a state level. The process has, however, been anything but plain sailing and many challenges remain. Nevertheless the importance of high and still rising cross-demographic support for cannabis, and its acceptance as a valid lifestyle choice and inclusion in mainstream politic and social discourse will pave the way for Cannabis 2.0.

Key findings
US confectionery experiencing maturity
US: a taste of latest confectionary trends
Identifying drivers: cocoa on a pedestal
Identifying drivers: star ingredients
Where is cannabis in consumer industries?
Cannabis: where is it in sugar confectionery?
Cannabis: where is it in chocolate confectionery?
Sweet tooth: ahead of the curve in recreational edibles
Demographic surprises: boomers back into cannabis
Future of positioning: lighter shades of green
Craft, appellations and identifying indulgent parallels
Cannabinoids of the future
Terpene synergy
Edibles: chocolate and intoxicating indulgence
Edibles: gummies, mints and building an adult narrative
Edibles: unlocking bespoke highs
Munchies momentum
Breaking stereotypes: gourmet dining and luxury retailing
From reefer madness to the Oscars: legalisation to normalisation
Sweet dreams: dare to be radical… but know what you are getting into

Alcoholic Drinks

Alcoholic drinks is the aggregation of beer, wine, spirits, cider/perry and RTDs.

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