Learnings from 1st Hall of Flowers Cannabis Trade Show in CanadaSep 22, 2022
September 13 & 14, 2022
As the summer nears a close, we’re seeing some huge movements within the cannabis retail market. It's finally time for another conference round-up and today we're focusing on the inaugural Canadian Hall of Flowers trade show, which happened this past Tuesday and Wednesday at the Enercare Centre in Toronto, Ontario.
And what an amazing couple of days it was! Between making new friends and getting a chance to finally meet some of our ‘old’ friends in person, we couldn't have been happier with the feedback we received.
Many shared they believed the show delivered a next-level curation of brands, retailers, and provincial buyers not seen yet in our Canadian industry.
This was especially true for brands looking to create awareness, or for those looking to launch new products this Fall. The consensus was that creating connections with retail buyers in this type of environment is incredibly beneficial.
Jay Rosenthal and our very own Krista Raymer had the chance to sit down with some incredible cannabis experts representing some of the biggest brands in the market, on our Pod of Flowers podcast which will be coming to the market shortly.
Our Two Big Takeaways:
- THC Potency Fixation Continues to be a Problem
- There is Huge Value in Giving Brands & Retailers an Opportunity to Talk Outside the Store Environment
It was an incredible trip meeting lots of new friends and learning more about the incredible industry and culture that exists here in Ontario.
Consider these takeaways when addressing your store's atmospheric impact and your customer’s perception of value.
TAKEAWAY 1: THC POTENCY FIXATION CONTINUES TO BE A PROBLEM
Innovation and exploration were major themes with new products presented at Hall of Flowers.
As cannabis science continues to evolve, we’re seeing more brands that are creating specific types of cannabis experiences through the use of craft strains that focus on specific terpene profiles. We’re also on the cusp of many new products that will start to take advantage of underutilized cannabinoids, like CBN, CBG, and THCV.
With all these new types of products in development (and some already in the market), it’s more important than ever for retailers to help consumers understand and see the value in terpene profiles and the Entourage Effect.
We’re also seeing companies branching into lower THC niche brands, which will hopefully start making dried flower and pre-rolled joints a bit more accessible for inexperienced or low-impact-seeking consumers that don’t want to be confined to CBD products.
The only way retailers and brands will be able to break this fixation is by continuing to push better budtender/customer education, so that buyers can see the value in a wider range of product assortments
TAKEAWAY #2: THERE IS HUGE VALUE IN GIVING BRANDS & RETAILERS AN OPPORTUNITY TO TALK OUTSIDE THE STORE ENVIRONMENT
For the Canadian market, there haven't been a lot of opportunities for brands and retailers to really put their heads together outside of the typical store space.
Hall of Flowers really showed local vendors just how valuable these types of conversations are to have, especially with all the changes constantly happening within the cannabis retail industry.
Sharing some ideas (and some samples) gives retailers and brands the chance to connect on a level that they otherwise don't get.
It gives retailers the chance to see brands as more than an SKU number on their order sheet, to learn more about the how and why of new product assortments, as well as the impacts that they are trying to achieve in the marketplace and the customer segments they're aiming for.
On the flip side, brands are given the chance to interact with retailers, without being confined to in-store locations. Using their educational or product materials, brands can provide retailers with strong value positioning/differentiators that they can then take back to their customer base and use as sales tools.
We are just scraping the surface of the things that we saw blossoming during the amazing 2-day event. If one thing was clear, it's that everyone really enjoyed this freedom of interaction that Ontarians haven't had before.
Events like Hall of Flowers are essential for the future of the cannabis industry in Canada.
In the same way, they’ve brought together retailers, brands, buyers, and consumers in the United States, Canadian brands need access to the community to be able to actively participate within it.
This may have been the first Hall of Flowers cannabis trade show in Canada, but it certainly won’t be the last.
Based on the positive reactions and awesome turnout we saw this week, we know there are a lot of brands that are already itching for their next opportunity to take part in an event like this one. And you better believe, Vetrina Group will be there when it happens.
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