✅ Listen to your customers
✅ Invest in food science expertise
✅ Higher quality means competitive edge
✅ Food science helps eliminate bad flavors, aftertastes, and textures
✅ How to scale quality and meet customer demand
✅ 3 case studies about profiting from food science
“Every time I taste a chocolate bar, gummy, or other cannabis edible, the flavor ranges from disappointing to disgusting.”
Eight years ago the person who said that to me became my first edibles consulting client. At the time he and his company were among the only ones to recognize the wide-open opportunity to rise to the top of the market with better-tasting edibles.
And the funny thing is, his statement still holds mostly true.
The cannabis edibles market is flooded with inferior quality products made with crude cannabis infusions—not much better than what we all used to make in college.
And even when the dosage is precise, the edible itself isn’t great. Chocolates are often waxy. Gummies can be bitter or astringent. Beverages break down and separate. And more often than not, the predominant flavor of any edible is vegetal weed.
Well people are getting tired of it—just read any edibles thread on Grasscity, Weedable, or Reddit.
Which means there’s ample opportunity in almost every market to rise above the chaff and offer truly better cannabis edibles to customers who are longing for products and brands worth being loyal to.
Customers want better-tasting edibles
Anyone in product development knows the power of marketing and branding. If you pour enough money into messaging and choice architecture, even inferior products can carve out a significant market share.
But as a cannabis edibles entrepreneur, you also must know—who controls the taste controls the galaxy. Or the market, that is.
So why haven’t big edibles companies stepped up their quality and taste to seize the market?
Well some have in recent years…but overall—the fact is they haven’t had to.
It’s a law of averages. If the only thing widely available is marginal-quality cannabis-infused products—that’s what people will buy. And once they’re raking it in, well-funded brands will turn to marketing instead of product development.
But if you want to compete with big cannabis edibles brands, getting into a price war isn’t going to go well. As a small business or startup, your best weapon is to offer higher quality products that taste so good people can’t get enough.
So how do you make better-tasting cannabis edibles to enchant the market?
The answer is deceptively simple—you need to prioritize and invest in food science.
Food scientists and food technologists can help you scale quality of flavor, texture, and dosage precision to deliver unrivaled cannabis edibles, build brand loyalty, and captivate the market share you deserve.
What is food science for cannabis edibles?
Food science encompasses a broad scope of disciplines. Anything from chemical analysis to scaling for national markets.
Food scientists come in all shapes and sizes of expertise. Each company and product requires different levels of specialization, so there’s no way to generalize.
Cannabis food science is a somewhat specialized niche, and most cannabis entrepreneurs can’t spring the $250k salary for an in-house food scientist—which means your best bet is to outsource certain project elements to a food science consultant with experience in cannabis edibles.
Which often works out better because sometimes big problems can be solved with just one simple session of applied science (see case studies below).
Depending on your size and scope, you’ll want someone with different levels of expertise in each of the three main disciplines of food science. Here’s how those disciplines look in real-world circumstances…
3 food-science case studies:
- Food Formulation
- Functional Foods
- Food Processing Technology
What is food formulation?
Food formulation is the overall strategy of creating marketable food. It’s a precise, multi-pronged process that takes a food idea from concept to prototype to finalized formula. Guided by the limitations of manufacturing, budget, etc.
This is a common service for food science consultants like me. And starting from scratch with an idea often ensures the best results. That’s because we’re able to look ahead together and discover problems before we get to them at scale.
Problems at scale are always more expensive.
What does functional foods mean?
The branch of food science known as Functional Foods revolves around edible products delivering specific health benefits or effects by way of special ingredients or processes (e.g. CBD oils, nutritional supplements, or THC edibles).
Formulation can be much more complex for such products. Especially where dosage needs to be precise.
Any time precision and/or consistency is on the line—especially for products like cannabis edibles that rightfully earn extra scrutiny—science is your best tool for developing and scaling to meet market demand.
How does food-processing technology make better edibles?
Food processing technology incorporates a foundation of science to design and improve food-production processes—including preservation, quality assurance, and research & development.
It’s a branch of food science that weighs manufacturing elements and advanced production methods as well as microbial analysis for things like shelf-life and safety.
Food-processing technology is an ever-expanding discipline that also pushes the envelope on applications like edible 3D printing, lab-grown meat cuts, and genetically modified produce that can grow in space.
Investing in food science yields big returns
It’s not just error prevention that saves you money in science-based cannabis edibles production.
What matters most in market success is delivering on the promises you make to potential customers.
One of your promises is “edible,” yes?
Food scientists can help identify what’s causing bad flavors and textures in cannabis edibles—and show you how to eliminate, balance, or mask them. Which means they taste better—which means people return for more, instead of risking it on something new that might taste terrible.
Scientific consistency also helps you deliver on your promises of quality, dosage, and effect—which means customers will trust your product and tell their friends. And you’ll be able to scale to meet the growing demand.
That’s how to capture and maintain a profitable market share with chef-quality, science-grade cannabis edibles.