Cannabis Ingestibles cover a lot of ground, including everything from pills to slices of pie to bottles of THC-infused cold-brewed coffee. But one style of ingestible dominates the market: the gummy.
During the first four months of 2019, 17 of the top 20 selling ingestible products in California, Colorado and Oregon were gummies. During the same period in the three states, gummy sales reached $115 million. By comparison, gummies' top competitors — products like mints, tinctures and even broad categories like chocolate (including both bars and pieces) and beverages (from single-serve shots to powdered teas to soda) — didn't even see half the sales of gummies.
Through April of 2019, gummy sales represented 39 percent of all ingestible dollar sales during the same period in the three states. That's impressive.
How did the gummy take over the Ingestibles market?
Gummy Sales Once Trailed Behind Chocolate Bars
The chewy sweet-and-sour confections did not dominate the adult-use Ingestibles market when they first emerged in Colorado in 2014. While they made up a large portion of the market, chocolate bars exceeded $17 million in sales compared to $13 million in gummy sales.
In fact, chocolate bars remained the most popular single style of Ingestibles products in Colorado for 2015 as well. It wasn't until 2016 that gummies pulled ahead. By the end of 2016, sales of gummies in Colorado hit $51 million, compared to $33 million for chocolate bars.
Now chocolate bars are far behind gummies. For the first four months of this year in California, Colorado and Oregon, sales reached just $25.5 million, compared to $115 million for gummies.
Meanwhile, the same dynamic — chocolate bars leading Ingestibles sales at first, but then surpassed by gummies — took place in Oregon between 2016 and 2017. In California, however, gummies led out of the gates when the state permitted adult-use sales in 2017.
Gummies' Popularity Hinges on Multiple Factors
Consumers' enthusiasm for gummies finds roots in different places. Unlike chocolate products, gummies don't easily melt. In comparison to chocolate bars and some baked goods, gummies also arrive pre-measured for individual servings; by comparison, consumers must breakoff pieces from chocolate bars.
Gummies are highly portable and discrete, compared to many beverages. They also come in myriad of flavors. Mixed fruit tends to be the most popular flavor among consumers, closely followed by watermelon.
Growth for Candy and All Ingestibles Stoked By Gummy Sales
When it comes to Ingestibles, it's increasingly a gummies world. In fact, growth within the entire Ingestibles market hinges on consumers' mounting passion for the THC-infused candies.
Including gummies, the Ingestibles market expanded by 37 percent year-over-year for the first four months of 2019. Without gummies, however, Ingestibles growth dropped to 23 percent. Sales during the period of other Ingestibles categories, like chocolate and infused foods, were flat and declined, respectively, while gummy sales expanded by 75 percent.
Further, without gummies, the candy category would not reign supreme over the Ingestibles market, as it does today. Remove gummies from the candy product mix, and instead of owning 47 percent Ingestibles market share for the three states during the time period, candy's share sinks to 13 percent. Tinctures dominate Ingestibles sales in a gummy-free market, with 30 percent of sales.
CBD Gummies Experiencing Robust Growth
Within the gummies market, the strongest growth is among products containing CBD. None of us are shocked. CBD has exploded and has been featured in our Top Cannabis Market Trends forecasts going on two years now. And will certainly continue to into the future.
In April of this year for Colorado, Oregon and California, CBD-infused gummies experienced 123 percent growth and $29 million in sales—
Growth for CBD gummies is the strongest in California, which saw 200 percent growth during the four-month period. But it remains powerful in Colorado, at 98 percent, and Oregon with 61 percent growth.
Interestingly, despite its relatively small size, Oregon supports the most brand diversity of CBD-infused gummies with 25 brands, compared to California’s 23 and Colorado’s count of 19.
Gummies Attracting Increasingly More Brands
Brand expansion took place in all three of t states under review, with the most significant boost taking place in California. The Golden State supported 29 gummies brands during the first four months of 2018. A year later, however, California consumers enjoyed gummy products from 45 brands, an expansion of 55 percent.
Brand growth continues in Colorado, despite the maturity of the market. The four-month period in 2018 supported 21 brands, a year later growing to 27 brands.
In Oregon, gummy brands expanded by 52 percent, from 19 brands during the period in 2018 to 29 this year.
Gummies’ Dominance of Ingestibles Likely to Remain — For Now
Gummies' closest competitor is a broad category that includes several different kinds of products — tinctures. The two main kinds of tinctures--droppers and oral sprays-- together capture 18 percent of the Ingestibles market. Tinctures experienced growth of 51 percent in all three states during the first four months of 2019. During the same period, however, we know gummies experienced 75 percent growth.
Will gummies growth slow down within individual states? Most likely. Gummies already are the number one selling ingestible product across the United States We have seen gummy growth slow-down in Colorado, from 122 percent growth during 2015 down to 39 percent during the first four months of 2019.
Even so, as more states enter the legal adult-use market, the gummy growth trend in emerging markets is likely to continue.
Data for this blog post was culled from our GreenEdge™ Platform. Up-to-date retail tracking, consumer insights and industry intelligence is available exclusively through BDS Analytics’ GreenEdge Platform. Learn more today.