When it comes to cannabis retail, being a one-stop shop for consumers is crucial. It’s not enough to provide premium THC and CBD products. Stores also must offer the various accessories and accouterments necessary for customers to enjoy their purchases fully. From papers and lighters to glassware and storage, dispensaries can provide a five-star experience and increase transaction sizes simultaneously when they offer a complete catalog of products.
Blunt wraps and cones are increasingly popular add-on products at dispensary retail counters. The blunt wrap category is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.8 percent this decade. Traditionally, blunt wraps have been made from tobacco, but hemp-based blunts have emerged in recent years.
But what about the growing number of consumers who want the blunt experience without nicotine or a tobacco taste that masks the delicious aroma of their top-shelf flower?
Enter High Tea.
Founded in 2016, High Tea offers tobacco- and hemp-free herbal wraps in a variety of flavors. Crafted from cacao, chamomile, and yerba mate, High Tea wraps provide an elevated smoking experience. As one of the top herbal wraps on the market, the brand quickly exploded on the scene and became a favorite of consumers and retailers alike thanks to its delicious taste and low price.
High Tea solves problems facing the blunt wrap market
Blunts have long been an integral part of cannabis culture. However, traditional tobacco wraps have become exceedingly problematic in the space due to the dangers of tobacco consumption. Regulators have taken note, with flavored tobacco bans going into effect at rising rates across the country. Because High Tea products are not made from tobacco, they’re not subject to these bans.
“We utilize a unique blend to create a wrap that smokes and burns like a traditional blunt wrap but without the heaviness and negative effects of tobacco and nicotine,” said Benjamin Winokur, proprietary brand manager for High Tea’s parent company, Kretek International.
But High Tea doesn’t stop at eliminating the risk inherent in tobacco products. The company’s products provide consumers with a way to enhance their experience. Long gone are the days when people used wraps merely to mask the harsh taste of low-grade flower that was once the norm in the market.
High Tea wraps come in eight flavors specifically designed to bring out the best in bud—without dominating the flower’s taste. The flavor catalog includes Wild Honey, Juicy Grape, Royal Sweet, Ripe Strawberry, Pure Peach, Mango Dream, Mad Melon, and Green Apple.
“Most wrap flavors are very syrupy and tend to overpower the flower you’re smoking,” Winokur said. “We’ve found a happy medium that imparts a fantastic aroma as you smoke but allows the terpenes in your bud to be fully enjoyed and not covered up by over-the-top flavors.”
Loyal partners help produce High Tea’s success
High Tea has achieved monumental progress in recent years, thanks to its array of partnerships with convenience stores, smoke shops, and dispensaries. According to Nielsen data, the company has emerged as the number-12 rolling paper brand in convenience stores in the U.S. in the past year. That’s no small feat in a hyper-competitive category.
Winokur believes the retailer relationships the brand has cemented are among the main drivers of High Tea’s ascendency.
“Our retail partners have provided us with some amazing feedback, and they’ve been our greatest supporters of the brand,” he said.
“Smoker Friendly was one of the first major retailers to bring High Tea to their stores, and they’ve experienced triple-digit growth on a yearly basis,” he continued. “On the dispensary side, JAD’s Mile High Smoke in Denver brought High Tea into their shop last year after we met at a CannaCon show, and it has since become the most popular wrap in the shop.”
High Tea’s competitive bulk-buying programs, nationwide shipping, and robust network of distribution partners make it infinitely easy for retail outlets to do business with the brand. An affordable price point also gives the brand a competitive edge: the MSRP on a five-pack of High Tea wraps is a mere $1.99.
Wider distribution on the way
While premium herbal wraps are the bread and butter of High Tea’s business, they’re just the beginning for the emerging brand. The company is preparing to launch High Tea Cones, which will be available in four-packs in both unflavored original and Royal Sweet flavors. The move comes as demand for pre-rolled cones skyrockets.
“We have seen the consumer cone space explode over the past eighteen months and expect to see this trend continue as consumers continue to value ease of use and convenient product offerings,” Winokur said.
High Tea expects to see increased distribution via a partnership with Hemper, a leader in the dispensary supply space. Cannabis retailers nationwide can access High Tea products, further growing the brand’s market penetration and adding another way for dispensaries to boost profits.
Winokur said High Tea’s impressive growth is exciting, but the ability to provide something consumers need and want is what truly motivates the team.
“We have so much pride in offering such a quality product at a price that is competitive to traditional tobacco or hemp offerings,” he said.