Brands can live or die by their packaging. All the master growers, rare genetics, THC percentages, charitable donations, social media influencers and celebrity endorsements won’t save a brand without shelf appeal.
It seems unfair, especially in an industry that mandates childproof packaging on top of stringent labeling requirements, that a superior product in poor packaging could be so easily outsold by an inferior product in appealing packaging. But, like any other consumer packaged good, consumers place value on well-produced packaging.
To help level the playing field, Marijuana Venture reached out to leaders in consumer packaging to give readers insight on the many variables of building appealing packaging for retail buyers and consumers alike.
Marijuana Venture: What are some trends in cannabis packaging that you find particularly interesting right now?
Calyx co-founder and CEO, Simon Knobel: A really interesting trend that’s becoming a lot more prevalent as cannabis brands continue to develop, is the health and wellness-based approach to design aesthetics. Cannabis is becoming more widely accepted and it’s proven to be a really helpful addition to bettering consumers’ physical, mental, and spiritual health. Brands and consumers are also shifting towards a larger focus on sustainability. Holistic health and wellness in regards to the consumer and of the planet as two complimentary branding aesthetics is really interesting to see.
MV: Is sustainability becoming more important in cannabis packaging, and how has Calyx responded to that need?
SK: Sustainability has continued to be at the forefront of the dynamic change in our industry, especially as it continues to scale. Because of this, Calyx is very focused on the Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle standard. We want to reduce the overall amount of packaging created, incorporate reusability into our packaging designs, and offer products that are simple to recycle once in the hands of consumers.
Calyx is committed to creating as little waste in the packaging process as possible. We take an approach of using a proprietary multi-shot gasket technology in our lids that use the least amount of material possible compared to traditional technologies. Our container caps are manufactured with up to 95% less material in order to create that airtight seal upon closure that is necessary to enhance cannabis preservation. We also make sure that our containers are 100% recyclable at the end of their life.
MV: What are some common mistakes you see cannabis companies making with regards to packaging?
SK: A common mistake that we see cannabis companies make in regards to their packaging is that there is so much focus on producing a high-quality cannabis product, but not putting as much intention into having quality packaging that will preserve their product, so that it is representative of the overall brand. Premium products should be in premium packaging.
Another mistake we see is that brands focus too much on price, while not thinking about the total cost of ownership. Each touch by a human is estimated to cost about five cents and this needs to be factored into the decision-making process, based on what type of packaging and configuration is to be used.
MV: What’s a piece of advice you would give cannabis companies, either new or established, as they’re looking at products or providers to help them with their packaging needs?
SK: A piece of advice that I will give to cannabis companies either new or established is to first and foremost, map out your entire supply chain. This will help you outline what your company is striving to accomplish, and understand what are your pain points and urgent needs that are blocking growth. This will also help your business evaluate how your packaging provider will need to help with those strategic initiatives, whether it be automating filling and product weighing operations or branding and bringing your product to market. Companies should seek to not simply source a packaging provider, but invest in a strong partner that will ultimately play a key role in accelerating your company’s growth.