Candies & Chocolates in Michigan’s Emerging Cannabis Market

Alyssa Jank

Michigan began its adult-use cannabis market in December 2019, legalizing cannabis flower, edibles, concentrates, and other infusions. As new markets go, the types of products available on shelves widened since the beginning. 

 

Looking at our consumer insights, cannabis candies are the second most popular product type among Michigan consumers (only second to flower). Another 38% of them report using cannabis baked goods. 

 

So what’s available to Michigan edibles consumers? We look at our Innovation Insights portal to see the brands, flavors, and product types available on the Michigan cannabis market in 2021. 

 

Transplant Brands

Because the market is so new, bigger brands with the resources to quickly enter a market have taken much of the share of shelf. At the end of 2020, the top 5 products by share of shelf were from multi state operators (MSOs). Wana Brands has the top distributed edible in Michigan with its Assorted Hybrid Sour Gummies, while four of Dixie’s edibles round out the top 5.

 

The most distributed edible from a local Michigan brand is Monster Xtracts with its Watermelon and Pineapple varieties of gummies. The only other local brand disrupting shelves is Detroit Fudge Company with its Barracuda Chocolate Bars.

 

What cannabis candies are winning shelves across the US?

 

Edibles Flavors Paving the Way

The candy category is the fastest growing edibles category in Michigan. The flavors with the biggest share of shelf in Michigan are watermelon (14%), mango (10%), strawberry (10%), mint (9%), and raspberry (9% ). While watermelon and strawberry are highly distributed across other states, mango has a uniquely high share of shelf in Michigan.

 

 

Additionally, raspberry is a popular nation flavor, and was the most popular flavor in Michigan in May 2020. Since then, raspberry has been dethroned to only 9% distribution. Understanding what flavors are hitting (and winning) the shelves nationally can help brands strategically decide what flavor to introduce next.

 

Cannabis Edibles Available in Michigan

Candies and chocolates are the most widely distributed edibles in Michigan. As of the beginning of 2021, drinks have yet to become available to Michigan consumers. They’re hard to make; the cannabis extract has to be specially infused to achieve a consistent product.

 

Though easier to make, baked goods are tricky from a product development standpoint. They need to be fresh and they’re more delicate to transport than candies. Plus, the technology for infusing cannabis into candy and chocolate has improved significantly. When it comes to big brands looking to maximize distribution, candies beat baked goods with their convenient form factors, easy production, and long shelf lives.

 

You may ask - “What about the 37% of Michigan cannabis consumers using baked goods?”  No single baked good has gained enough state-wide distribution, but this doesn’t mean brands aren’t carrying local brands. Noble Road, for example, makes THC baked goods you’ll find on dispensary shelves around Ann Arbour. And we can’t forget - cannabis brownies are a staple of homemade THC use.

 

Midwest Innovation

An example of an innovative edibles brand on the Michigan market is Detroit Fudge Company. This brand grew over 400% in distribution in the beginning of 2020. Detroit Fudge Company has the advantage of being a locally born brand, unlike brands like Dixie and Wana. 

 

Fudge is a popular Midwest treat, with locally made fudge being a staple of many family vacations around the state. Mackinac Island, Michigan even considers itself the fudge capitol of the world!  Detroit Fudge is able to tap into this local trend more authentically than the bigger brands could. The “locally sourced” component is an important consumer trend, especially with Millennials and Gen Z.

 

Read more on trending THC edibles

 

Last Updated: 02/05/2021