Reggie Colalongo found out the hard way that the last step in manufacturing – packaging – can be the most critical.
She began her cannabis cultivation career on farms – growing and extraction, which naturally stemmed from her background in community gardens and agriculture. Then she met Bret Burroughs on a farm in Mendocino County and they saw the market changing. Reggie and Bret opted to enter the California cannabis for recreational edibles market and created Solstice and Sun, with a desire to create and offer artisanal products that would be vegan and organic, gluten free, as well as customized with different textures and flavors.
Of course, the packaging needed to reflect the uniqueness as well, and included a special paper compression wrapper from Japan for each piece with everything packed into stately matte black boxes that they felt met compliance guidelines. What they didn’t count on was that in a dispensary, their stately boxes kept being placed near the bottom of display areas, with more colorful options getting front and center placement. In addition, their boxes were smaller than many others and the elements on the outside weren’t really giving potential customers a good sense of the goodness inside.
Realizing the issue, they went back to the drawing board and commissioned much more colorful, larger vertical bags featuring a serene landscape of rolling hills, with the sun high in the sky and bordered with fruits representing each flavor, with an overlay of their logo and information. They also sourced the bags in California, rather than having boxes printed in China. Another upside, the bags were easier to fill than boxes, and lowered their labor costs.
The changes were immediate – their products began to command much more prominent spaces in dispensaries, and an increase in sales followed.
As Packhelp co-founder Konrad Kwiatkowski wrote in an article for Fleximize as his #1 tip – “Keep packaging eye-catching so that it immediately stands out and is remembered by the customer.” He also shared, “Packaging is also an opportunity to tell customers who you are as a brand and what you believe in. Product packaging cannot scream at the customer – ‘buy me!’. It needs to be intriguing, create a mood and prompt a range of emotions.”
“It was a great lesson for us,” explained Regina. “The packaging has to do the selling for you in the store because no one is there to explain the product. And if you can’t get someone to pick up your box and read about what’s inside, you’ve lost before you’ve even begun.