Canopy Growth seizes on a pandemic trend with new pre-rolls

The ready-to-enjoy products under the Ace Valley and Tweed brands come in sizes more conducive to individual consumption.

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With concerns about COVID-19 at the top of their minds, many social cannabis smokers are drifting away from the traditional “puff, puff, pass” rule. Canopy Growth has noticed the trend and is aiming to capitalize on it with two new ready-to-enjoy products.

Under its recently acquired Ace Valley brand, Canopy has released Pinners – a pack of eight, 0.3-gram pre-rolled joints. Meanwhile, under its Tweed brand, it is releasing Quickies in packs of 10, 0.35-gram pre-rolls.

In both cases, the company is hoping to capitalize on a need identified in a study it commissioned with Dig Insights: people are less willing to share their joints due to the pandemic, and the conventional 0.5- or 1-gram pre-roll sizes most producers sell were too large for individual people to smoke in a single sitting, “leading to a suboptimal experience,” says Kelly Olsen, Canopy’s VP of global flower.

“Those two insights really drove us to evolve our offering to smaller joint weights that are more ideal for individual consumption and larger pack sizes that are more conducive to sharing in social settings,” she explains.

To promote the products, Canopy has taken two different approaches, in both cases aiming to drive “awareness and consideration” for the new products. With Ace Valley Pinners, which launched in July, the company has focused on in-store and social. Olsen describes its in-store Pinners displays as “kitschy and 3D.”

“They kind of resemble a french fry box and say, ‘would you like Pinners with that?’” she adds.

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Tweed Quickies, meanwhile, are just shipping to market and will be available nationally in early September, Olsen tells strategy. To coincide with their launch, Canopy will be running a paid media campaign including digital through Twitter, Leafly and Buddi, as well as in-store point-of-purchase material.

“In conjunction with the in-store assets, we’ve developed a QR code that leads to a dedicated website for consumers who want to learn more about the product,” says Olsen. “It also asks a couple of questions in terms of gauging consumer satisfaction so we can get some further insights.”

Canopy Growth has been making a habit of zeroing in on unique insights to find ways to break from conventions in cannabis, like reverting the names for its dried flower to “classic” strain names to eliminate the confusion industry naming practices have caused.

“We’re really focused on consumer insights and ensuring those are at the core of all new products we bring to market,” Olsen adds. “That has been fundamental to evolving our pre-roll portfolio, and will continue to be fundamental with other products we bring into the market.”