Spotlight: What’s Hot in the U.S. Edibles Market?

Departments - Upfront | Sales Trends

July 26, 2018

As the cannabis market develops and expands across the United States, more new consumers will become regular consumers. Cannabis businesses must adapt to this rapidly changing consumer landscape and stay ahead of developing trends to excel in tomorrow’s industry.

Arguably the most rapidly evolving product category is cannabis-infused edibles, which is projected to make up a $2.3-billion market in 2018 and to become a $5.3-billion market within the next five years (a 130-percent increase), according to data from cannabis market research firm Brightfield Group. Given those numbers, staying abreast of changing consumer preferences is probably a wise business decision. Below are insights into the edibles categories that have bright futures and those that may see their popularity wane.


Sugar Candy - 5-Year CAGR: 15.94%

Bite-sized candies easily conform with micro-dosing requirements imposed by various states because they are small and individually dosed, making them a tempting product for manufacturers to develop and for vendors to sell. A vast number and variety of candies are being produced, from sweet mints to taffy, that appeal to a broad client base. These products are discreet and less intimidating for new consumers (who make up a growing market share). Sugar candy is projected to be the largest and fastest-growing edibles category over the next five years, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.94 percent and projected 2022 sales of $2.2 billion.

Drinks - 5-Year CAGR: 15.39%

Cannabis-infused drinks are increasingly alluring consumers looking for healthy, non-pharmaceutical approaches to improve and maintain good health. Beverages are discreet, consistently dosed and portable. Some are as healthy as water or tea, making them a great fit for those who want to consume cannabis products that do not contain synthetic additives or excessive sugar. Cannabis-infused drinks also provide options for consumers who seek alcohol-free recreational beverages, or who want medicinal effects without pharmaceuticals. Brightfield Group is projecting a CAGR of 15.39 percent and 2022 sales of $587.8 million.


Baked Goods - 5-Year CAGR: 14.12%

“Pot brownies” are not yet irrelevant, though their popularity and novelty has diminished. While still growing quickly, the baked goods product category (brownies, cookies, etc.) is starting to lag behind the growth rates of other edibles. Because of challenges related to inconsistent dosing (driving down consumer demand and loyalty), high calorie counts and the fear of a “bad trip” deterring new and inexperienced users, manufacturers and customers alike have veered away from baked goods. CAGR for baked goods is projected at 14.12 percent, and 2022 sales are projected at $748.1 million.

Jamie Schau attained a B.A. in international studies and an M.A. in international development from the University of California, San Diego. Since early 2015, she has been a market analyst with Brightfield Group, where she performs quantitative and qualitative analyses of various aspects of the U.S. marijuana markets.