By Helen Lee
Grön Chocolate, a marijuana edibles company based in Oregon, has recently been experiencing explosive growth. The company was started by Christine Smith, a former architect who was underwhelmed by the offerings in the marijuana edibles market, specifically the chocolate products. She believed that chocolate infused with marijuana didn’t need to taste like marijuana, so she began tinkering with chocolate formulations. In addition, Smith thought that both the visual appeal and functionality of packaging could be improved. What began as a hobby, is now an 18-member operation selling, on average, 50,000 chocolate bars per month through over 300 of the 400 dispensaries currently licensed in Oregon. After the legalization of recreational marijuana in Oregon, Grön Chocolate was the first brand ready to sell its products in accordance with the new regulations, which included childproof packaging, and has begun to establish itself as the leader in the Oregon Edibles market. Based on data collected by Brightfield Group, Grön Chocolate is the brand leader in both the Edibles category and Chocolate subcategory in Oregon. At 22.7%, Grön’s brand share in the Oregon Edibles category is more than double of the next closest brands, Smokiez and Lunchbox Alchemy, both with 10.2% and 10.1% brand share, respectively. In the Chocolate subcategory, Grön’s 62.1% brand share is more than nine times its closest competitor Peak Extracts (7.5%).
Grön’s target consumer looks very similar to that of Whole Foods - those who find quality an important attribute and are willing to pay a premium for it. Consumers purchasing Grön Chocolate are typically interested in “refined consumption” (micro-dosing) and are not looking for the stronger psychoactive effects that come with higher doses of THC. Grön plans to continue to target this segment as it believes that micro-dosing is where the Edibles market will continue to head towards. Its lower dose chocolate bars are made up of ten squares (servings), each containing a 5mg dose of THC for a maximum of 50mg per bar, though the brand also carries a 75mg THC chocolate bar for medical patients. The company also offers a wide and expanding portfolio of high CBD products, which are a key component of their product lineup.
Grön Chocolate is continuously looking for ways to, not only expand and improve its product line, but also its processes and relationships. To make the most impactful changes, Grön strives to build strong relationships with customers and dispensaries carrying its products. As part of its effort to be a responsible competitor in this industry, Grön is currently developing an internal education program for customers and budtenders to help customers make informed purchase decisions. In addition, package design has always been something that was important for the founder, Christine Smith, so Grön continues to look for ways to improve the visual appeal and functionality of the package. Be on the lookout for a new package design that will include, not only a new print design, but also a smaller, resealable package that will, of course, be child-proof.
Brightfield Group data projects recreational sales in the Oregon Edibles market to triple by the end of 2017 and continue experiencing impressive growth in the years to follow. Undoubtedly, the growing market will attract more competition, but thanks to its well-established its position early on and strong branding that resonates with a growing segment of consumers, Grön Chocolate is well-positioned for this explosive market.