Why are pre-rolls so popular with consumers?
The word 'pre-roll' refers to an already spun joint. Rolled and ready. (Adobe Stock)
In the wake of Covid-19, consumers haven’t been doing a lot of puff-puff-pass as fears of spreading the virus remain high. But stoners are a resourceful bunch and have found a way to toke together during the pandemic—the pre-roll.
According to Ontario Cannabis Store data, pre-roll sales grew 196.48% since last year, and they led as the top three selling product category going into the summer months. Since sharing a joint is no longer an option, it’s no surprise that pre-rolls are enjoying a bit of a hot minute in Canada.
While some weed snobs refer to them as the fast food of cannabis, the pre-roll market is booming. From variety-packs to craft cannabis, the people have spoken. And those people want pre-rolls.
Consumers dig the convenience
Pre-rolled joints are cheap, come in multi-packs, and are easy to pass out to friends. Beyond sharing, the format is accessible to new consumers, who might not know how to roll their own yet. Pre-rolls are also popular with medical cannabis patients who may lack the mobility or dexterity to grind and/or roll.
“I love pre-rolls for the convenience they provide. I like that they are ready to go when you are. There’s no messing around with grinders and rolling,” Luc Wilson, a consumer who is no stranger to buying pre-rolls, tells Leafly Canada.
“I typically purchase smaller pre-rolls (.35g) because they’re just the right amount for me. I don’t get too high, but I’m still able to enjoy myself.”
Wilson says he also likes that he can purchase packs of ten, instead of just one or two at a time, and individual pre-rolls are great for trying out new strains or brands without committing to a whole pack. He adds that multi-packs are great for sharing with friends, especially during covid.
Pre-rolls play a key role in pandemic etiquette
On the retail side, Lauren Davie, vice president of retail & sales at Superette says there was a notable shift in pre-roll sales when the pandemic began.
“Pre-roll sales have picked up a bit with a shift to summer weather and an increase in socializing outdoors, which has been great to see. ”
Davie says customers love pre-rolls because they are so easy and quick. Consumers have the ability to consume a small amount at a time, which is really appealing.
“People are excited to try different modes of consumption and packs of pre-rolls make it fun and easy to share without the ‘passing a joint’ we might have been used to pre-pandemic,” she tells Leafly.
Low-risk way to try new strains and brands
Overall, Davie says that pre-rolls are a great point of entry into the recreational cannabis market. We asked the sales expert what kinds of pre-rolls were most popular with consumers in their retail stores.
“The Redecan Redees have consistently taken the top spot in popularity in part due to a competitive price and higher THC percentage,” says Davie. “Dominant CBD multi-packs also tend to do really well and appeal to those who may want a different option outside of a stronger THC percentage.”