Year-over-year sales of pre-rolls were higher than any other product category from 2021 to 2022, according to a white paper by Custom Cones USA. From November 2021 to November 2022, pre-roll sales grew 12% in the U.S. and 38% in Canada, according to the paper, which relies on data from cannabis intelligence company Headset.
In the U.S., infused or “connoisseur” pre-roll sales spiked 1,426% year-over-year in Canada and 22% in the U.S. Mixed strain pre-roll sales grew 440% in Canada, year-over-year, and 63% in the U.S. Since 2021, in the U.S. and Canada, sales of multi-pre-roll packs have grown by almost 400%, the report says.
“Over the past few years, the wholesale price of flower has dropped dramatically, making pre-rolls more affordable. With cheaper cannabis costs, it also allowed producers to use higher quality flower. Additionally, advancements in both table-top and automated pre-roll machines have allowed manufacturers to produce more pre-rolls with lower labor costs. All these factors combined led to higher quality pre-rolls at lower retail price points, which has driven strong growth for the category.” —The State of the Pre-Roll Industry, Custom Cone USA, June 8, 2023
The report notes that while all other product categories are experiencing price compression, pre-rolls are experiencing the lowest compression among all categories. In the U.S., pre-roll prices have fallen just 11%. In Canada, prices have increased by 5%, according to the report.
The majority of pre-roll sales continue to be single-packs; however, from 2018 to 2023, the share of single-pack sales dropped from about 95% to about 80%.
“In 2018 multi-packs of regular and infused pre-rolls only made up 27.7% of the market. By 2023, multi-packs make up 47.62% of the market—representing a growth of about 20% over 5 years,” the report says. “Single pre-rolls are always going to have a place in the industry, so expect their decline to level out soon. Single pre-rolls are the perfect add-on item, and it is common for consumers to pick them up for a specific event or occasion.”
The majority of companies surveyed for the paper (54.3%) said they planned on expanding further into multi-pack pre-rolls.
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