Customers are spending less per visit, but they’re visiting cannabis stores more frequently, according to a new report from Springbig (Nasdaq: SBIG) that tracks the cannabis market across the United States and Canada.
The report revealed a dip in the average consumer basket size and total spend by 9.5% and 9.8%, respectively. However, in-store visits and sales showed an increase on a year-over-year basis and between the first and second quarter.
In terms of product specifics, cannabis flower remained king, accounting for 54% of sales, followed by vapes at 22%, edibles at 12%, and concentrates at 8%. The data suggested a meaningful drop of 9.3% in sales of concentrates, both on a year-over-year basis and between quarters.
The trends are not uniform across markets, however. Springbig found that year-over-year retail trends in California were on par with the general North American patterns. But Colorado saw a drop in store visits and sales on a year-over-year basis and between quarters.
In Maryland, which recently legalized recreational cannabis, there was a 13.1% increase in customers and a 10.2% rise in visits since the second quarter last year. The state has been enjoying a nice Missouri-type surge in sales as legal adult-use options provide some fresh air for the time being.
“Our Q2 data report highlights how the economic state of the cannabis industry has affected consumer purchasing trends,” said Jeffrey Harris, CEO of Springbig.
“It is especially interesting to see that while basket size and overall spend has overall declined, retailers are seeing an increase in store visits. Springbig will continue to equip the cannabis industry with the tools they need to succeed, from marketing solutions to consumer data reports.”
According to the Springbig’s data, Canada’s Ontario saw substantial year-over-year growth with increases in customers (58.5%), visits (56.7%), and sales (45.4%), while also reporting above-average flower sales (67%).
The findings run along some of the same threads as another report by sales tracking firm Headset, which posited that in Ontario, while store count has increased by approximately 40% over the last year, average monthly sales per store have dropped by around 20%.
That report suggested that the sales growth seems to have come from a rise in the number of stores, rather than growing consumer demand.
That presents a more sobering picture appears as the COVID-19 pandemic created inflated demand for cannabis that was unrealistic to maintain. In addition, the oversupply of product in the country has appeared to shift strategies toward craft cannabis offerings.
While sales totals in Canada have grown by 157% from May 2020 to May 2023, if one shortens the horizon a bit, sales grew just 11.8% between 2022 and 2023, according to Headset.