Cannabis vs. Big Candy – The War of the Brands!

The cannabis edible market is big business. While food doesn’t make up the majority of the cannabis market – that category belongs to cannabis flowers – it does have a strong position.

It is estimated that food accounts for between 12% and 15% of the cannabis market. Considering the US grossed $ 17.5 billion last year, according to this Forbes article, the value of the edible market is between $ 2.1 billion and $ 2.6 billion.

That’s a lot of cheese!

While many of us view cannabis-infused treats as a great way to get deeper and fuller effects from cannabinoids, the industry has been guilty of numerous bad choices.

This is where BIG CANDY comes in and we have to draw the line within the goals behind our marketing.

Okay Reginald, I’m intrigued … put it on me!

Let’s start from the beginning.

Cannabis was illegal – and it wasn’t. Consumers have long poured cannabis into treats like brownies, cookies, butter, etc.

When cannabis became “legal” in several states, those familiar with infusing cannabis had a customer base. This created the first vestiges of the industry.

Everything is still 100% okay. The problem started when cannabis brands thought they could steal other brands’ intellectual property – and make an insane amount of money from it.

I’m talking about all the “Capn Crunk” and “Cannabursts” and “Skittles” and the numerous copycat brands that offer cannabis infused products.

While it’s fun to “joke” about your “cannabursts” (starbursts), using the exact same design, font and packaging as the original brand that you “knock off” and then sell for a profit is a whole different matter want .

This is known as trademark infringement, and many cannabis brands are discovering how terrible it can be when the lawyers for Mars Inc. and similar well-known confectionery brands beat them with injunctions and violent lawsuits.

While this may have flown under the radar a few years ago – $ 2 billion is changing things significantly.

Why breach proprietary property?

On the one hand, it could truly be a naive view of the world in which the person who came up with the brilliant idea thought: “They wouldn’t mind … would they?”

It turns out that “they” would mind very much!

However, if you are smart enough to build a solid supply chain, do marketing, and have sales reps to drive your product forward, you are not very naive about intellectual property.

I would assume they knew the hammer was going to fall at some point. And that is actually very detrimental to the whole legality movement.

Sure – the companies concerned will be affected, but these types of violations do not adequately reflect the industry as a whole.

The industry is already under scrutiny and the creation of trademark infringement suits is opening up a whole new perspective on the emerging market for prohibitionists.

Besides – it’s fucking lazy!

Cannabis has such a rich lore – that you could practically take a million other approaches to marketing your goods than demolishing an internationally established brand.

Why copying candy company branding is a dumber idea than you thought!

The idea behind trademark infringement is to leverage the “trust” these brands have built over the years. Why should someone infringe the Skittles trademark?

Because people “know” bowling and would be more likely to buy a product if they could say, “Oh – it’s like bowling.”

Except that Skittles has invested billions in advertising to build that trust in public spaces – and the brand knows it. They want to use that marketing presence to “siphon” sales like some kind of parasitic entity.

But here’s the real kicker: copying candy brands isn’t intuitive for your marketing.

Why are candy wrappers so colorful? The answer is incredibly simple.

Children!

Children are drawn to the bright packaging they associate with the sugary high. This means that candy bars are primarily created to attract a segment of the market that cannot buy products like cannabis.

By emulating the packaging of famous candy manufacturers, you are literally marketing to children. This is one of the reasons children accidentally ingest these products because they are hardwired to buy.

This establishes the case that “children are at risk of being accidentally consumed”, which leads the legislature to … I don’t know … limit the damn potency of THC in products!

What if a legislator thinks “5% is the safest for our children” which is effectively harpooning the industry to death?

Just because a cannabis brand was too unoriginal to come up with something unique that caters to the right demographics.

What makes the copycat so idiotic is that if you properly rename the foods to appeal to your ideal target market, you can eventually become a “recognized brand” within the consumer base.

They will actually be able to become the “cones” of your niche, which should be the goal of every edible brand!

Why not shy away from these bright and cheerful colors and give them a more “rustic” feel? Why not create ecological packaging that reflects the ethos of the current zeitgeist? Why not include more futuristic marketing adapting to the next big push of humanity – space!

What consumers should do …

Of course, consumers are the ultimate rulers in this equation. Where you spend your money determines how brands react.

And if you are reading this and thinking, “Fuck it, I keep buying the counterfeit brand” – you just know that this can ultimately lead to an extreme reaction from these brands.

This could slow down supply chains, make food more expensive due to new regulatory directives, etc.

As a consumer, you aim for products that reflect your ethos. Colorful packages are intended for children, not free-thinking adults who are exercising their right to consume whatever they want to consume.

The bottom line – brands, stop imitating a children’s market and focus on your own demographics. We don’t need Joe Camels these days. There are many cannabis lore to be inspired by – Adult Market!

Consumers, you have the power. Spend those dollars thinking about the bigger picture.

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