5 TIPS FOR CANNABIS PACKAGINGSUCCESS
Not every consumer will see your Instagram feed. They may never meet you at a cannabis event or see your demo at the local dispensary. But each person who even considers buying your product will interact with your cannabis packaging. So, make it memorable, make it functional, create a pleasant experience and your cannabis product will stand out on the shelf.
Here are 5 tips we put together to help set you up for cannabis packaging success:
1) Great packaging begins with a stellar brand and unforgettable designs
Be confident in who you are as a brand. How does this confidence develop, you ask? Consider your story – how you got to where you are. Why did you choose this path? What inspires you to continue down this road in the face of regulatory hell, market uncertainty, and a threatening political landscape?
Share your footsteps with an experienced designer who will extract your core values and communicate your vision through your branding and designs. Keep in mind that experienced creative professionals are not cheap. Think to yourself what kind of logo you want. If you want a meaningful, high-quality design that evokes emotion, schedule consultation with a reputable designer.
Once you’re satisfied with your brand, connect with your graphic artist and print production facility early in the packaging process. Make sure your designer has experience with different packaging styles and paper types. A savvy designer will know what other industry players are doing and he or she can evaluate aspects you may have never considered (i.e., to help make sure that the distributor/co-packaging equipment works with the child-resistant packaging you have selected).
2) Be sure to do your homework
Make a point to perform your independent market research. Check out other brands in your market space and visit local dispensaries to see how others have designed their cannabis packaging. Pay attention to how they presented the cannabis and how the brand interacts with the consumer once it’s in their hands. Gather samples. Pay attention to features that you like and don’t like. Consider not only the visual appeal but how you feel when you open the product. Is it a seamless experience or are you searching for scissors? Is the lid tough to open? Does the container seal tightly, so your cannabis doesn’t get too dry or remoisten? Talk to your friends and family, and ask for input on the ideal packaging experience.
3) Be sure to include the appropriate warnings on your packaging and labels so that it complies with state laws.
For new products (post-January 2018), California regulations mandate certain primary labeling, such as font size with product identity, net weight and volume, and milligrams of cannabinoid content. Edibles have additional requirements, including the words “cannabis-infused,” a list of ingredients, the date of manufacture and expiration, artificial ingredients, potential allergens, and more. Manufacturers, cultivators, and processors must also follow specific packaging and labeling guidelines.
Another consideration to keep in mind is Prop 65, which requires businesses to provide all customers with a notice of chemicals “known to cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm.” In fact, there are now close to 900 chemicals that have been identified to fall into this category, including cannabis smoke (identified in 2009 to potentially cause cancer). Even though there are no concrete studies linking cannabis smoke to cancer, this is still a requirement that affects cannabis companies throughout the distribution chain, and a Prop 65 warning will be required after Aug. 30, 2018.
4) Cannabis is confusing to new consumers…be clear on how to use your product.
New cannabis consumers, even novice users or those unfamiliar with the way the industry has changed (with the array of edibles and vape pens on the market today), need to understand exactly how a cannabis product is intended to be used. Be sure that your packaging includes specific instructions on how to go about consuming your cannabis product. Whether it’s written directions – such as how to hit the button on a vape pen, to how much of an edible treat to start off with – clear instructions are crucial. The last thing you want is your customer to have a frustrating, even terrifying experience, let alone shout it from the rooftops like New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.
5) Make it easy for dispensaries to carry and display your products.
Finally, think ahead to the retail experience. Consider the fact that the more enticing your labeling and packaging design, the better your product will appeal to the consumer’s senses, making the dispensary more compelled to carry your product. Next, make it easy for them to do so: be sure your labeling complies with state regulations, and your packaging communicates transparency and authenticity, all while expressing your brand values.
If you’re not sure where to turn, give Mendocino Group a call. With more than 10 yrs of experiencing working with cannabis brands in the Emerald Triangle, we can help turn your ideas into memorable brands and set you apart in this legalized era. Many will compete – few will succeed. We have the knowledge, creativity, and experience to make your cannabis brand stand out from the rest. Call our locally owned and operated company – we’re here to help make your ideas take flight!