With only 2% growth P3M (Previous 3 Months) and revenue of $70 million, the Massachusetts pre-roll market is an odd duck. Many of the trends we see in other markets simply don’t appear here. Infused pre-rolls haven’t made much of a dent, representing just 12% of sales. Multipacks are underperforming, with only 5 showing positive momentum in the top 20 products. The brand leaderboard is chaotic, with double digit moves from every operator on the list. So what gives? Let’s take a closer look.
Super Lemon Haze
– .35g 5 pack
Super Lemon Haze
– .5g 7 pack
Hybrid Strain Blends
– 1g 14 pack
Infusion is tiny, but growing
Infused pre-rolls represent only 12% of the category as a whole. That is a big surprise, and is the smallest share that we’ve seen in any market we’ve analyzed, by far. In Michigan, for example, infused pre-rolls make up nearly 40% of the category, with no signs of slowing down. Still, the share grew by 3.4% vs P3M, so infused pre-rolls are still outpacing the growth of standard pre-rolls. (In fact, sales of non-infused pre-rolls actually DECLINED slightly vs P3M). The infused pre-roll trend seems to be coming later, but it’s still on the way. Our take: brands that haven’t entered the infused subcategory have a unique opportunity to do so now. We expect the trend to continue to pick up pace, and it’s always better to be ahead of the curve than behind it.
Image courtesy Pioneery Valley – pvxtracts.com
Not a lot of brands
There are only 125 brands currently producing pre-rolls in Massachusetts. That’s an incredibly low number considering the size and age of the market. Oregon, for example, has 256 total brands, but a population several million lower than Massachusetts. Still, competition is on its way up, with 15 new brands getting in the game vs P3M. And the brands that are already playing have been buuuuussy. At 3,149 SKUs in the market, there were a whopping 574 added in just the past 3 months.
Image courtesy Dogwalkers – dogwalkersprerolls.com
Image courtesy Great Barrington Dispensary – greatbarringtondispensary.com
TONS of movement at the top
Check out this stat: Of the top 20 pre-roll brands in Massachusetts, every single one of them moved by double digit percentages, vs P3M. Every. Single. One. Some went up, some when down, but either way, we’ve never seen a leaderboard with this amount of fluctuation before. Of the top 5 brands in the state, 3 of them went down by double digits vs P3M. Nobody controls more than 5% of the category, and beyond the top 6, nobody controls more than 2%. Our read: this is a market that has yet to find stability, and doesn’t look to get there anytime soon. It’s a good time to be a challenger brand, and a great time to invest in this category.
Multipacks are underperforming
Yet another place where Massachusetts goes against the grain: multipacks are underperforming. There are 8 multipacks on the top 20 products list, (although one is only a 3 pack, so doesn’t represent the same kind of offering you’d get with packs of 5 or more.) That number is about average compared to most markets we’ve analyzed. What’s surprising, however, is that of those 8 multipacks, 3 are actually declining by double digits vs P3M. Why? It could be a problem of pricing. Normally, multipacks represent a lower price-per-gram vs single pre-rolls. That doesn’t seem to be happening, with multipacks price per gram averaging around $11.50. That’s actually more expensive than most of the single pre-rolls on the top 20 board. Convenience is the key to multipacks, but the secondary benefit they provide is a better value than singles because consumers are purchasing more than one joint at a time. That value has not made it to the multipacks in Michigan yet. Also notable: there is not an infused multipack on the board. Not one. Maybe the demand hasn’t shown up for that particular subcategory yet, but it will, so if you are considering adding an infused multipack to your lineup, now is the time.
Image courtesy Happy Valley – happyvalley.org
We make the generalization that Massachusetts isn’t following the trends. That’s not entirely true. Some that we see in most other markets, like the growth of infused pre-rolls, are showing up in Mass too but in a more subdued fashion. Others, like the multipack, haven’t seemed to have hit their growth stride yet. Combined with the absolute madness we see on the brand leaderboard it is safe to say that the Massachusetts pre-roll category has not found stability yet. It’s not quite chaos, but we certainly see it as “unsettled.” Businesses and brands that are capable of being agile and quick to adapt to changing conditions will be more successful here. Be ready to change processes, experiment with new SKUs, and take risks. For very large, bureaucratic businesses this market will continue to be a challenge. But, for those that can adapt quickly, the movement throughout the category provides an opportunity. Some degree of stability will come eventually; it always does. Make your moves before that happens to take advantage of the potential in this market!
RollPros is the manufacturer of the Blackbird, the only automated joint machine that makes joints the same way you do: rolled, not stuffed. Brands across the US and Canada use the Blackbird to create unique, value-added products that 4/5 of consumers prefer over pre-rolls made with cones. RollPros is dedicated to helping customers build successful, profitable brands through continuous innovation, exceptional customer support, and category expertise.
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