Most beer drinkers are familiar with Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of several prominent brands, including Budweiser, aka “The King of Beers.”
Anheuser-Busch officials are always happy when people buy a Bud or several. But they’re equally happy if someone instead chooses Elysian Brewing, which was purchased by A-B in 2015. Or 10 Barrel Brewing Co., an A-B brand since 2014, with its own unique group of loyal fans.
This type of branding is beginning to pop up in the cannabis industry, when one company creates different types of products for different customer bases.
Eben von Ranson, co-owner of Blue Roots Cannabis, wants to offer similar choices for Washington cannabis consumers, whether they are strictly top-shelf Blue Roots fans or want something more affordable without sacrificing quality. This “something for everyone” approach drove the recent creation of Crave Cannabis, a brand with cost-conscious customers in mind.
Crave Cannabis products are cultivated at Blue Roots’ sister facility in Cheney. Its current lineup includes 13 strains that are a blend of old-school favorites and new school treats, such as Santa Cruz Blue Dream, Mint Chocolate Chip, Hog, Cookies ‘n Cream, Black Cherry Soda, and Bruce Banner.
“We have a lot of people’s favorites,” von Ranson said. “These are less exotic strains than Blue Roots, but they have amazing flavor.”
Stephanie Lamb, sales and assistant operations manager for Blue Roots and Crave, said the industry response to the new brand has been fantastic.
“We sold out in our second month of sales,” she said.
Crave Cannabis is grown indoors and uses a different nutrient blend than Blue Roots, but adheres to the same grow philosophies.
“We’re in the business of re-creating nature’s best days for our plants, every day,” von Ranson said.
Every plant is hand-watered and hand-trellised by a four-person crew. After the flower has been harvested and carefully cured, it is transferred to Blue Roots’ main facility in Airway Heights for hand-trimming and packaging.
Crave packages were designed with shelf appeal in mind, using bright colors and a unique symbol for each strain.
“We spent a lot of time and effort sourcing jars and designing packaging,” Lamb said. “We didn’t want to get lost on the wall of mylar that most stores have.”
Crave jar labels include clear ‘windows’ so consumers can see every bud that they’re purchasing.
For Blue Roots, Crave represents an opportunity to reach a group of consumers who may have never tried their flagship brands.
“People who say, ‘I only have $30 to spend’ when they walk into a retailer may not have considered Blue Roots before,” von Ranson said. “But, since Crave will be priced at around $30 an eighth, they will be able to choose Crave now.”
Blue Roots also continues to grow its own brand. The company recently built out two new rooms with plans to increase its monthly output. These state-of-the-art rooms allow the BRC team to monitor environmental factors like humidity and temperature remotely. Grow team members are alerted through their mobile devices if there are any significant changes. The automation also helps ensure consistency from one harvest to the next.
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