Do you recall the last time you chose a product because of its packaging? More often than not, we tend to pick up the most unique packages on crowded shelves because they stand out from their competitors. That’s one power of packaging: it can encourage shoppers to become customers. After all, packaging is often the first physical touchpoint with customers; therefore, it is essential to do it right.
The Cannabis and CBD markets are some of the newest players in packaging design. As per Grand View Research, the legal marijuana market on a global level is expected to reach USD 146.4 billion by the end of 2025. Additionally, the sale of legal cannabis in the United States alone amounted to nearly $10 billion in 2018. These numbers are evidence of the growing prominence of the cannabis industry, meaning that new packaging innovations are on their way.
If you’re looking for packaging design inspiration, you’re in the right place, as we’ll share 5 examples of innovative cannabis packaging that other industries should really pay attention to.
1. Houseplant’s retro-modern packaging: Available in three different cannabis varieties—Sativa (yellow), Hybrid (green) and Indica (magenta)—Houseplant’s packaging looks just like a retro VHS tape sleeve. The outer sleeve is simple, the logo in the top right and small informational text at the bottom left leave a lot of negative space, allowing the bright colors of each strain to do most of the work. Just like a VHS, the sleeve slides open to the cannabis container, nestled safely in a slot cutout. The effect is an old-school vibe with a modern feel—perfect for a brand made by Superbad writers Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen.
2. Kiva Confections artisanal packaging: Kiva teamed up with renowned chocolatiers to create what are now wildly popular cannabis chocolates. The brand’s packaging captures an artisanal feel, with a tasteful image of a cannabis leaf laid across the brown paper packaging. To comply with cannabis packaging requirements, the cannabis-infused chocolate packaging clearly displays product information and medicinal warnings, including a tastefully protective sticker to deter children from easy opening.
3. The Goodship Company’s sophisticated packaging: As another edible cannabis brand, The Goodship Company, sells THC-infused baked chocolates and confectionaries in high-end packaging. As luxury cannabis brands have grown more prominent, many brands have shed psychedelic, street-style aesthetics, opting instead for design styles that are more typical of luxury brands. Goodship achieves this with mostly white packaging complemented by a colorful, solid bar across the top and a shiny, gold foil ship or hot air balloon that matches the gold lettering of the brand name.
4. Seven Point’s holistic packaging: Chicago-based dispensary Seven Point provides a wellness-focused menu of medical cannabis products. The brand’s simple and elegant packaging evokes an all-inclusive spa day. The tinctures and oils come in black containers with simple white labels; the cannabis flower boxes are covered in a white sleeve that reveals a pop of color at the bottom. This brand is about more than just getting high; each box promises a different desired medicinal cannabis effect, from Active to Creative to Balance.
5. Willie’s Reserve fun heritage packaging: Willie Nelson’s cannabis brand Willie’s Reserve celebrates the country music icon’s legacy as well as his appreciation for the flower. A wood type word mark, brown paper-based packaging and a color system of red, green, and blue form the basis of the visual branding. The funky feel perfectly captures the musician’s style, making this a genuine heritage brand.
Final Thoughts on Cannabis Packaging
Creating alluring product packaging designs for cannabis products can boost brand visibility and consumer engagement. It helps to pay attention to other brands and trends in product packaging at a larger scale, but companies need to add their own touch of creativity to provide a unique experience for their consumers. For a comprehensive list of 2021 packaging trends, be sure to check out this report.