It’s Fall Y’all! With Halloween just around the corner, the preparations for the spookiest celebration of the year are well under way. For many, Halloween is a major occasion to throw a party or kick back and enjoy some scary movies while riding a candy-induced sugar high. According to BDSA’s Cannabis Consumer tracking, activities like parties and Halloween movie nights go hand in hand with cannabis consumption. Further, BDSA Retail Sales Tracking shows that Halloween coincides with a spike in cannabis sales, making the spookiest day of the year a boon to cannabis retailers.
HALLOWEEN WILL DRIVE 2021 SALES FOR EDIBLES AND INHALABLES
The affinity for cannabis consumption around Halloween is more than evident in BDSA’s Retail Sales Tracking of legal cannabis markets. For example, in California, flower sales on Wednesday October 30, 2019 (the day before Halloween) were ~15% higher than the average Wednesday, suggesting that a good number of California consumers stocked up in preparation for their Halloween smoke-out. BDSA data also shows a spike in candy and chocolate edibles sales around Halloween. Sales data from the Oregon market in 2020 shows that candy and edibles sales on Friday, October 30 were higher than any day that month, coming in at +35% above the daily sales average for October 2020.
With consumer data showing that cannabis is a choice addition to Halloween shenanigans, the obvious question for retailers is how to position their product mix to make the most of any spike in sales coming from Halloween celebrations. With the host of fall and Halloween themed edible products available, edible products are an obvious choice. ~40% claim to consume edibles to have fun and another ~35% consume edibles to be/get happy. But it isn’t just edibles, Inhalable consumption for ~50% of consumers is all about having fun as well.
CANNABIS CONSUMPTION FITS WITH HALLOWEEN
Many might assume that the typical cannabis consumer is one who chooses to use cannabis only in low-key settings or to relax, but they would be incorrect. The cannabis consumer consumes for a variety of reasons and in different settings, many of which line up perfectly with the energetic type of parties seen around Halloween. BDSA’s Cannabis Consumer Insights shows that using cannabis is not just about zoning out, as ~40% of inhalable consumers claim that they always consume cannabis when letting loose or going out on the town. Further, when looking at social occasions for cannabis consumption, ~40% of consumers claim they always use cannabis when celebrating special events. AND younger consumers are even more likely to incorporate cannabis into social occasions or parties, with ~55% of Gen Z consumers claiming that cannabis always plays a role in celebrations and special events, and ~70% claiming that they always use cannabis at small get-togethers.
CANNABIS OR ALCOHOL OR BOTH?
Halloween is also an excuse to party and an opportunity to let loose, which for many involves alcohol consumption. Cannabis works its way into these occasions as well, with ~20% of cannabis consumers claiming that they often consume cannabis in combination with alcohol. The share of consumers who consume cannabis and alcohol together in one setting is even higher for young consumers (we could argue that these younger consumers are more likely to “party” for the Halloween holiday), with ~30% of Gen Z and Millennial consumers claiming they often consume cannabis with liquor/spirits, ~30% with wine, and ~25% with beer.
While cannabis pairing with alcohol is a common occurrence, it is also worth noting that many cannabis consumers see cannabis as a replacement for alcoholic beverages. ~40% of consumers agree that cannabis is healthier than alcohol, and the share of alcohol consumers who also consume cannabis (not necessarily on the same occasion) is on the rise. BDSA Cannabis Consumer tracking shows that ~50% of alcohol consumers also consume cannabis in fully legal states, up ~35% from the Spring of 2018. Cannabis is also a good addition for those looking for a more mild, controlled buzz, with ~55% of cannabis consumers claiming that cannabis does not impair them as much as alcohol does.
HALLOWEEN HORROR MOVIE NIGHT
Halloween often is an occasion to stock up on your favorite snacks and enjoy some scary movies, both of which are occasions that many choose to pair with their favorite sticky-icky or edible. ~45% of consumers cite that they often pair cannabis with movies. We know that munchies play a huge part in Halloween, and ~40% of cannabis consumers often pair cannabis with snacks and ~30% often pair cannabis with chocolate.
BDSA’s Top Strains and Products for the Halloween Holiday
As Halloween creeps around the corner, it’s time to stock your shelves with all the cannabis necessities best suited for the holiday. From infused treats to bath bombs, help lift your customers high into the festive spirit. Here we discuss brands with fall themed cannabis products that your customers are looking for as we enter the coziest season of the year.
OH, and we all know the stress that holidays and family gatherings can cause. BDSA continues to track Relax/Be Mellow, Feel Peaceful, Manage Stress, Manage Anxiety, and Have Fun all ranking in the top 10 reasons consumers choose to consume Cannabis Inhalables and Edibles. It just fits.
BDSA is ALL about the Spooky Strain Name Game—so much so that “dress as your favorite strain” has been a go-to for company Halloween parties for years.
We all love the different strain names that are available to choose from when picking out our choice of smoke. Halloween themed strain names are especially popular. Names like Jack the Ripper, Frankenstein, Black Widow, Zombie Kush, Professor Chaos, and so many more are regularly found on the shelves. Here are some of the top Halloween themed strains to keep an eye out for this year as consumers plan for fall activities – all strains from BDSA’s Retail Sales Tracking Top 50 Flower Strains by State.
Energetic strains that are great for your customers that are heading to the pumpkin patch:
- Ghost Train Haze – #6 AZ
- Durban Poison – #10 OR
- Bruce Banner – #24 OR
- White Nightmare – #45 MD
Have customers that are planning on staying home, relaxing, and just eating candy?
- Alien Cookies – #9 AZ
- MK Ultra – #23 MD
- Skywalker OG – #36 CA
Or maybe you have customers that just need a balanced high to bake some treats:
- Deadhead OG – #34 MA
- Killer Queen – #35 MA
- Devil’s Lemons – #29 PA
- Phantom Cookies – #30 MD
[Source: BDSA Retail Sales Tracking, 1H 2021]
Craving Caramels, Chocolates, Cookies, Gummies, and Pies, OH MY
As we begin to think about the holidays again (how is this possible?!?), sweets are always top of mind. A few that are making my mouth water just reading the names—many coming from BDSA top brands across tracked markets:
- Incredibles Pumpkin Pie Delight Bar (from BDSA’s tracked #1 chocolate brand YTD in CO, IL, MD, MA, and NV) is at the top of my list to try this year. Encompassing flavors of pumpkin spice, white chocolate, graham cracker, and cannabis infused with 100mg of THC of course.
More mouthwatering treats you must check out to get in spirit for the Halloween season include:
- Betty’s Eddies Apple Pie Fruit Chews—BDSA’s #3 Edible brand in MD
- Korova’s Pumpkin Pie Cookies—#2 Infused Foods brand in CA
- Kiva Confections Blood Orange Camino Gummies–#1 Edibles brand in CA
- Revolution’s Kushie Caramels
AND, if you really want a product that will take you down memory lane, check out Canyon Cultivation’s Caramel Apple Lollipops in Colorado!
Warm and Cozy is the Name of the Fall Game
However, it isn’t just about sweet treats. As temperatures begin to drop, consumers are looking to warm up and get cozy. What better way to do this than to sip on a warm cup of cocoa, apple cider, or chai. Fall-themed cannabis beverages serve as great add on items to increase basket size.
- Happy Apple, a Washington based company, has an apple cider in 10mg, 50mg, and 100mg THC sizes, with an Atomic Apple – Sour Apple flavor that is a huge it!
- Magic Number (BDSA’s #1 Beverage brand in OR) has their Sparkling Apple Cider for the non-alcohol drinkers at Thanksgiving that still want to celebrate.
- Other warm cozy drinks include: Khemia Zen Sips with Cosmic Cocoa and Chakra Chai
As we transition from summer to fall, and fall to winter, it is important to adjust your assortment to reflect the vibe of the season. BDSA can clearly see (based on daily sales in the 11 US markets tracked via Retail Sales Tracking) that Seasonality plays a part in purchasing behavior. With the holiday season in full swing again, consumers are looking to treat themselves and to find just the right gift for friends and family. We see it every year, and cannabis-infused products win for holiday-themed creativity and seasonality.
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