Brightfield Group Breaks Down the Year’s Top Cannabis Trends

Despite the challenges of 2020, five categories made gains
Photograph: Shutterstock

The newly released 2020 Cannabis Innovations Report from CBD and cannabis data provider Brightfield Group notes that while the challenges of 2020 have been great for the industry, brands took a strategic approach to the products brought to market with some encouraging results.

Despite these challenges, Brightfield reports that 912 new products launched from Q1 through Q3 in its Innovation Insights portal. “The innovations this year reflect a maturing market, interest in cannabinoids beyond THC and CBD, and of course everchanging consumer behavior,” says Brightfield.

And as the cannabis market continues to mature, Brightfield sees new opportunities for CBD and cannabis suppliers to seek inspiration from other industries, specifically with regard to seasonal offerings. Pumpkin spiced CBD anyone?

Brightfied pointed to mint flavors emerging in winter 2020, followed by fruity flavors in April.

Meanwhile, the pandemic has driven demand for CBD and cannabis products meant to offer stress relief. Cannabis brands responded to the pandemic with more products positioned for relaxation and stress-relief, said Brightfield, pointing to its November 2020 report on the cannabis consumer, which revealed that a whopping 81% of these consumers say cannabis helps them deal with the stress of the pandemic.

What Were the CBD and Cannabis Winners of 2020?

Brightfield’s new report examines the top-five product categories that gained the most share of shelf in the first three quarters of 2020.

1. Candy. Since January 2020, cannabis candy has captured 12% of shelf. From January to September, candy increased total distribution by 4 percentage points, a growth of 41%. Cannabis candy positioned as “natural” was particularly popular, Brightfield finds.

2. Cartridges/Pods. Despite the vape crisis in late 2019, vape cartridges and pods were the most distributed cannabis product type for 2020 with 22% year-to-date share of shelf.

3. Resin/Rosin. In 2020, resin/rosin increased in share of shelf more than any other concentrate, gaining 3 percentage points to bring its year-to-date distribution to 6%.

4. Disposable Pens. Disposable pens bring a new level of convenience to vaping. Though only earning 4% of shelf year to date, disposable pens’ distribution grew by 68% in 2020, reported Brightfield.

5. Baked Goods. While baked goods represent barely one-quarter of the size of cannabis candy’s share of shelf space, the category grew 1 percentage point in 2020, which represented a 40% increase for baked goods.




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