One of the world’s oldest and most beloved confections, chocolate has been a relevant and popular form factor in legal cannabis markets, so far bringing in 12% of edible dollar sales and almost 2% of total sales across BDSA Tracked Cannabis Markets (AZ, CA, CO, FL, IL, MA, MD, MI, NV and OR) in 2021. While the chocolate subcategory’s share of edible sales is dwarfed by that of gummy candies, chocolate sales are steadily on the rise in Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland, with some chocolate brands seeing impressive sales growth. Here’s our picks for chocolate brands to watch out for.
Offering a line of cannabis-infused chocolate bars with flavors ranging from amaretto orange to bourbon pecan, Koala is ranked #10 in dollar sales within the chocolate category across BDSA Retail Sales Tracking markets. With active sales in six states, BDSA tracks Koala bringing in $2.75 million in sales across Oregon, Nevada, and Colorado in 2021 through July.
A subsidiary of T Bear, Coast Cannabis Co. has seen strong sales in the Massachusetts market. With strong distribution throughout the market, Coast Cannabis Co. has brought in over $5 million in chocolate sales in Massachusetts in the first 7 months of 2021.
A storied brand with its origins in the California medical era, Kiva launched sales in 2010 and expanded to the Michigan market earlier this year. BDSA is tracking that Kiva brought in just shy of $20 million sales in the first seven months of 2021 across the CA, IL, MA and NV markets. Their chocolate sales in California totaled almost $16 million through July 2021, equating to roughly half of ALL chocolate edible sales in CA.
Legacy Oregon edible brand Grön has established themselves as the dominant chocolate edible in Oregon, bringing in almost a 34% share of chocolate sales in the market. Grön has since expanded into the Nevada and Arizona markets, bringing in almost $2.9 million in sales through July 2021 across three markets.
Which brings us to the best-selling cannabis chocolate brand of the year thus far. Bringing in almost $28 million in sales in BDSA tracked markets where available (CO IL, MA, MD and NV) in the first 7 months of 2021, Incredibles has capitalized off their legacy brand status (coming from the CO market) and acquisition by MSO giant Green Thumb Industries.
Incredibles has active sales in Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Ohio, holding the distinction of being the ONLY BDSA-tracked chocolate brand in Maryland’s medical market.
Incredibles recognizes that chocolates are still distinct among edible form factors, and important to the brand as well as consumers. The brand has focused on staying true to their origins from the early days of the Colorado medical market, with eye-catching packaging and branding that conveys unique personality.
“Our bold color palate and distinct shape language help us differentiate ourselves on shelf, break through visual clutter and, more importantly, communicate flavor. Whether it’s the creamy pink background of our Strawberry Crunch Bar, or the rich glow of the Snoozzzeberry Night Sky, color has a distinct ability to drive appetite appeal, which is something that we really lean into,” says Gianna Sutley, brand manager at Incredibles
To drive increased consumer interest in the chocolate subcategory, the brand has created localized branding for different markets, developed higher-potency products for experienced medical consumers, and incorporated new cannabinoids into their chocolates.
“The more important focus from a product development perspective is really leaning into the science of edibles and using cannabinoid blends to more effectively give consumers the nuanced effects they’re looking for,” Sutley says.
Honorable mention: Haze & Main
As usual, we have to give an honorable mention to one more brand. An edible and topical brand with origins in the medical-only era of the Arizona market, Haze & Main is the leading chocolate brand in Arizona by a wide margin. Offering a variety of infused chocolate bars packing either 250mg or 500mg of THC, the brand has totaled over $4.5 million in chocolate sales in the Arizona market in 2021 YTD. With statewide distribution in Arizona, the brand has brought in over HALF of all edible chocolate sales through July 2021.