• 6 key innovation trends
  • 6 key innovation trends

6 tendances clés en matière d'innovationProduits

Publié le 31 mai 2023 par AQIC

The legal cannabis industry, in both adult-use and CBD, is rapidly evolving and, according to Euromonitor International is projected to reach USD98 billion by 2027.

Innovation forms a key cannabis growth driver as manufacturers seek to engage existing consumers or entice and reassure newer consumers into the legal market

Here we outline six of the key trends in new product developments which brand owners are addressing in global recreational and CBD markets.


Partly driven by price compression upstream and often manifesting in alignment with potency as a reductive “highest THC level at the lowest price” value has become more and more a focus of NPD in the Canadian and US markets. Less reductively it is an expression of an obvious truth in other FMCG industries which is that not every consumer wants or needs a premium product at every moment. Value driven brands are predominant across the US and Canadian adult-use markets currently with Simply Herb by multi-state operator Ascend Wellness and Every Day Weed by Schwazze, representative cases in point.

Infusion for experience

Linked to the value trend but not exclusively so is a tendency for products to combine cannabis formats through infusion in order to either add value (effectively through additional potency), premiumise (through potency as a base, but also cross-use of rarer forms) or to seek to cross-migrate experienced users into new categories, eg resin or rosin infusion into edible products. In the Canadian market, GeneralAdmission Honeydew Boba Distillate Infused Pre-Roll by Decibel and in the US, Live Resin Vape Pods by 710 Labs appeal to cannasseurs and experienced users

Need state positioning

While strain, derivation and potentially origin will play a role in consumer messaging in the emerging cannabis space, not all will be responsive. Function certainty in the product, and need/mood end-state positioning (the latter easier to achieve than the former, given the varying impact of cannabinoids) will be more important than ever in new products seeking to unlock new audiences. Recently launch product series Plant Precision bv leading MSO Curaleaf targets a range of need states (with varying cannabinoid formulations), while Feel Good CBD Pre-Rolls from Lola & Lola exemplifies the stylised calm with which brands are now positioning many CBD skus.


The mainstreaming of cannabis is a process that is ongoing in council chambers and social media, and which must be completed on product shelves. Innovation in the emerging industry has democratisation as a mantra, informing a gamut of choices - including pricing as referenced but also product format, potency, brand positioning (eg consciously non-cannabis linked) and target channel. For example, leading edible producer Papa & Barkley’s Small Batch Hash Gummies seek to broaden the base of cannasseurship by making cross-infusion accessible, while in the UK, Goodrays Relax & Unwind CBD beverage range has successfully achieved mainstream distribution with an approachable non-stereotypical positioning

Ingredient stacking

Another trend that is partly supply driven, as the price of minor cannabinoids continues to decline, more and more new product launches are utilising stacked formulations both of multiple cannabinoids including CBG, CBN, THCv as well as other non-cannabinoid function actives, particularly on the CBD side (and in the US market also evident in Delta-8 SKUs). This “strength in numbers” approach will only strengthen salience. Contrasting expressions of the multi-ingredient trend are found in the more therapeutically oriented MultiCannabinoid capsules by NuLeaf Naturals and artisan, relaxation focused CBD edibles from renowned edibles innovator Rose LA

Dose control

In the context of broad public misunderstanding regarding cannabis use, emerging products need to reassure consumers that it can work in a targeted, consistent way that enhances their lifestyles. Dose control in delivery format is central to this effort both from the viewpoint of ensuring efficacy but also imbuing consumers with the confidence to explore cannabis offerings. Recently launched Quick Calm by Wana exemplified this functional, focused trend by providing a targeted dose of 1mg THC (plus a stack of CBD, L-theanine and terpenes), while Twist-to-Dose from TruDose helps to standardise the volume of cannabinoids consumers can expect per inhalation, addressing a barrier to uptake of cannabis vapour amongst some consumers

SOURCE: Euromonitor Internation