Sometimes, smoking a joint or popping an edible amongst friends doesn’t seem as convivial as bonding over leisurely sipped beverages. This is likely just one of the factors contributing to cannabis beverages’ huge success. According to Headset, cannabis beverages are one of the fastest growing segments in the industry.
In addition to cannabis beverages increasing in popularity, cannabis consumption lounges offer a more normalized and visible recreational approach. Cannabis consumers can enjoy cannabinoid products in a public, social setting, much like they would enjoy a beer or cocktail at a bar or nightclub. This familiar bar-like setting being adapted in the US is inspired by Amsterdam’s ever-popular “coffee shops,” where customers can choose from a menu of products and then enjoy them on site. Today, consumption lounges offer a variety of opportunities to further the reach and popularity of cannabis beverages. Here are five reasons why:
1. Buying a cannabis beverage at a consumption lounge gives the products legitimacy
Until recently, cannabis consumers had nothing equivalent to a bar setting to enjoy their favorite products. By tapping into cocktail culture, cannabis beverage companies are creating a pathway for the “canna-curious” to try a product in a familiar format – a mixed cocktail, a can or a bottle, rather than smoking flower or using a vape. Consumption lounges provide a safe, legal setting for consumers to enjoy cannabis, and offer a legitimate platform for brands to showcase their products.
2. The ability to socialize in a public setting with a cannabis beverage normalizes consumption
State-licensed, legal cannabis consumption lounges completely shift the discourse surrounding consumption in general. Rather than having to consume within the confines of your own home, individuals can now meet friends at a lounge, or socialize with fellow cannabis enthusiasts. By creating these spaces, cannabis consumption is being normalized. Since beverages are already one of the fastest growing product segments in the industry, getting more cans in more hands will only increase their popularity. After all, imbibing in social settings is the norm – the only difference is that these products are non-alcoholic, and won’t give drinkers a nasty hangover. This opens the door to non-habitual consumers who may not choose to puff on a preroll, but would gladly enjoy a sparkling soda.
3. Consumption lounges offer a controlled environment to enjoy cannabis products
Much like a bar, restaurant, or nightclub, a cannabis consumption lounge is a controlled setting. Consumers will choose from legitimate, legal products and enjoy them within the parameters enforced by the lounge. Consumers will not have to worry about ingesting a potentially unsafe, illegal product, or over consuming due to lack of dosage transparency. Cannabis beverage brands that get their products into established consumption lounges will be trusted, and enjoyed in a setting that welcomes the “highs” that come with consuming, creating positive brand associations and hopefully, brand loyalty.
In addition to this, consumption lounges will also provide staff members who will be available to help answer questions and make recommendations around a specific person’s preferences, interests, desired effects, tastes or other parameters like low sugar, low or high dose and similar. This will help improve first time experiences with infused beverages as well as a person will have support in determining where they should start and what would be best for them.
4. Cannabis beverages have a faster onset time
Due to water-soluble emulsions, those who choose to drink cannabis beverages can feel the effects faster – as early as 7 to 15 minutes – than if they chose an edible that can take up to two hours to set in. This is a key differentiator often highlighted by cannabis beverage manufacturers and a result of water-soluble emulsion technology which accelerates the absorption of the active ingredient for the consumer.
Now is the time to ensure that you have the right emulsion partners. As the market expands and competition grows, brands will want their product to shine among the rest. This means fast onset times, solid flavors, aromas, and mouthfeels in all of their ready-to-drink and ready-to-mix products. Those that can’t get their formulations right will surely fall to the wayside as more successful products zoom to get placements on the back bars of every consumption lounge.
5. Low-dose cannabis beverages give consumers the opportunity to drink more
It’s widely acknowledged that inconsistency is a major factor in customer’s disapproval for certain cannabis products. In terms of potency, it’s extremely important that cannabis beverages are accurately dosed, so consumers can predict their effects. For low-dose beverages, cannabis consumers that don’t want a strong “high” can opt for one or two drinks, while others may choose to enjoy several over the course of a few hours. Either way, proper emulsion technology is needed to maintain accurate dosage, in addition to pleasant tastes that amplify or compliment the beverage’s flavor profile. After-all, psychological research suggests that consumers remember bad experiences more than positive ones, and roughly 17% of consumers will walk away from a brand after just one single bad experience.
So what’s the key takeaway? It’s imperative for cannabis beverage brands and manufacturers to partner with trusted emulsion experts to create the best tasting, most efficacious and consistent products. At SōRSE Technology, we believe that products have to taste good, but also need to be consistent, effective, and safe. By creating products that integrate easily into the consumer’s daily routine, we can meet the growing consumer demand and stand out amongst competition. Contact us today to schedule an exploratory call about your beverage brand.