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The Pre Roll Industry: Emerging Trends and Insights into Pre Rolled Cones

The Pre Roll Industry: Emerging Trends and Insights into Pre Rolled Cones

Posted by Custom Cones USA on Oct 25th 2023

Updated: June 5, 2024

Emerging Trends in Pre-Roll Consumption: Insights for B2B Success

In order to find success as a pre-roll company in the cannabis industry today, it is critical to stay ahead of market trends and insights. Considering how quickly laws and opportunities change, the most nimble and strategic businesses tend to rise to the top.

As one of the leading pre-roll suppliers in the cannabis industry, Custom Cones USA has a vested interest in seeing our customers succeed. In turn, we take great pride in helping you make good business decisions in the pre-roll vertical.

From growth projections and consumer behavior to product and packaging trends, the pre-roll market is complex. Yet, for businesses willing to invest the time and effort, there are ample opportunities in the pre-roll market across the U.S. and Canada.

What are the Current Market Trends for Pre-Roll Consumption in the B2B Sector?

Pre-rolls are the fastest-growing cannabis product segment in both the US and Canada - with more expected growth in the future!

To keep up with consumer demand and remain competitive, there have been major innovations among pre-roll manufacturers over the last few years. Today, there are pre-roll products at every price point that utilize different strains, extracts, papers, premium filter tips and packaging options. You can rest assured there is a product for each customer group and preference, with more being made each year.

What are Growth Projections for the Pre-Roll Market?

The growth projections for the pre-roll market are enough to get the attention of any good business person. As we have noted before, with a growth rate of 12% YoY in the US and 38% YoY in Canada, pre-rolls are the fastest growing cannabis product in the world of legal cannabis, and it’s not close. In fact, pre-rolls now have over a 15% market share in the cannabis industry, up from 12.5% just a few years ago.

Not only is the pre-roll vertical doing extremely well, but experts project that it will continue to grow long into the future. In fact, we believe that pre-rolls will become the bestselling cannabis products in the entire industry by 2030.

How are Companies Differentiating Their Pre-Roll Products?

In order to capitalize on the latent opportunities in the pre-roll vertical, cannabis producers are coming up with new and creative ways to differentiate their brands. Popular trends include more potent products, as well as pre rolled cones of different shapes and sizes.

Manufacturers are also making pre-rolls infused with cannabis extracts that add potency and botanical terpenes to create unique flavors. Unique packaging and branding are also at the forefront of the industry.

How are Consumer Preferences for Pre-Roll Products Changing?

As the cannabis industry grows more sophisticated each year within legal markets, so do customer preferences for pre-rolls. But that doesn’t mean there are trends that emerge within the sector.

For example, since the pandemic cut back on passing around joints, the “dogwalker,” or mini pre-roll has gained in popularity, providing smokers with a quick, personal puff, usually in in the 1/3-gram area. Multi-packs also grew in popularity over the past few years as people cut down on trips to stores. That trend also continues today. Since 2021, there has been an almost 400% growth in multi-packs that have a volume of 2 or 5 grams, as well as steady growth across most other sizes.

The infused pre-roll, which combines flower and a concentrate in a single pre-roll cone, is also a major driver of growth within the industry. As prices for flower and concentrates drop in a market, infused pre-rolls take off because of price drops and consumers consistently reaching for items with higher potency.

Other notable consumer trends in the pre-roll vertical include pre-rolls with botanical terpenes added for flavor, the addition of glass or ceramic filter tips to create a premium smoking experience and an increase in mixed-strain pre-rolls and pre-roll multipack.

On the industry side, additional trends include the continued price decrease in flower and concentrates that make infused pre-rolls an option for manufacturers, as well as advances in pre-roll filling machinery and automated pre-roll filling machines that help cut down on labor costs for producers.

What Factors are Driving These Shifts?

Convenience is a major factor pushing growth in the pre-roll space. Since pre-rolls don’t require extra supplies like a pipe or vape battery to be consumed, they offer an affordable and simple way to consume cannabis.

Since the value of wholesale flowers has dropped dramatically in recent years, the price of pre-rolls has fallen along with it, though an analysis of Headset data shows that pre-rolls are less affected by price compression than any other segment of the cannabis industry. Consumers are now reaping the benefits of a situation where producers are dropping prices to remain competitive.

What New Products Are Important in the Pre-Roll Market?

The cannabis industry is seeing a vast array of new pre-roll products enter the market each year. According to Headset, the lifespan of a new pre-roll product in U.S. markets is about 4.6 months while in Canada, the lifespan of a new product is about 7 months. That contributed to more than 28,000 new pre-roll products being released in established U.S. legacy markets and more than 7,000 new pre-roll products in emerging markets in 2022. In Canada, nearly 1,900 new pre-roll products were introduced.

The rise in multi-packs also allows manufacturers to sell different pre-roll products within a single package. By offering this level of variety with a single purchase, companies are able to capture brand loyalty with customers.

Cannabis dispensaries of today offer full-fledged retail shopping experiences where customers can choose from a variety of professionally branded products.

What New Packaging Designs Are Important in the Pre-Roll Market?

Along with new products, manufacturers are also developing interesting new packaging ideas to attract and retain customers. Notable new packaging trends include pre roll tubes like glass tubes or multi-pack jars as a way to better seal in freshness while signaling to consumers a higher-quality product, packing mini pre-rolls into multi-packs and including humidity packs with the packaging to ensure freshness, often with paper packaging choices, which while more sustainable are always more permeable. Fancy labels to help brands stand out and grab attention, as well as using crazy or funny names to tickle the fancy of core recreational consumers who are always looking for something new and fun, especially in an add-on item like a pre-roll.

If you are unsure about new packaging designs, the Pre-Roll Experts at Custom Cones USA are always available to help you sort through some cool options.

What are the Key Regulatory Changes that Pre-Roll Businesses Must Deal With?

As seen with any segment of the cannabis industry, compliance is a major focus for pre-roll producers across the US and Canada.

Pre-roll manufacturers need to be aware of laboratory testing for heavy metals, pesticides, and microbial contamination. Also, you must be mindful that your pre-roll products weigh the same, as only 5-10% variances in weight are allowed (depending on local laws). Most U.S. states require child-proof packaging of some sort, while others have strict rules on labeling, all of which must get factored into pre-roll packaging choices. Compliance must be a cannabis business’s first choice after all. For example, some markets require opaque packaging while others allow the product to be seen. In some states, a tamper-evident seal is required. Whatever packaging regulations your business faces, Custom Cones USA has options that will keep you operating legally.

But not all regulatory changes mean new restrictions, however. Health Canda in 2021, for example, clarified its regulations to allow for infused pre-rolls and since then, the Canadian market for the product has exploded, showing a 1426% year-over-year growth and making it a product category that every pre-roll manufacturer should be in.

What are the Potential Challenges of the Pre-Roll Market?

Pre-roll manufacturers face many of the same challenges as producers in other parts of the legal cannabis industry. Many of the most highly established adult-use markets like Colorado and Washington are also extremely competitive. While cannabis companies are making good money in medical markets like Ohio, the real challenge is getting a license to do business in the first place.

One of the toughest challenges in the industry is price compression, which squeezes company profits as prices drop. However, even with the cost of flower (and concentrates) continuing to drop, the pre-roll category faces the least price compression of any other industry sector, according to Headset data. This is due in part to the rise of the infused pre-roll, which commands a higher price point.

Common challenges aside, as long as you are smart and strategic about where you choose to enter the cannabis industry, there is ample opportunity for growth in the pre-roll vertical. Competition is normal in any industry, and you can always get ahead of the competition with hard work and innovation.

Custom Cones USA: Your Cannabis Pre-Roll Supplier

Working with a qualified supplier like Custom Cones USA is one of the best ways to get started in the pre-roll space. From pre-roll machines to custom packaging solutions, we have what you need to differentiate your brand in the market.

Customization options are very popular with Custom Cones USA clients. We offer different paper types and sizes, as well as filters so you can develop the perfect products for your brand. Custom Cones USA also offers a wide variety of bulk and bundle discounts. You can choose from several creative programs to help save more money with custom pre-rolled cones and pre-roll packaging.

Contact us today to learn more!

Stay ahead in the pre-roll market with insights into emerging consumption trends. Elevate your B2B success in the evolving cannabis industry.