Review: CANN Unspiked
Covers Products: Blood Orange Cardamom (2021), Grapefruit Rosemary (2021), Lemon Lavender (2021)
Known for its flagship line of low dose THC enhanced beverages, CANN is now branching out of the cannabis and into the broader non-alcoholic beverage space. Unspiked contains no THC, CBD or other functional ingredients and instead focuses on refreshment with a low calorie formulation.
Like CANN’s THC-enhanced beverages, these products are packaged in an 8 ounce can and come in the same three core flavors: Lemon Lavender, Grapefruit Rosemary and Blood Orange Cardamom. The formulations have between 30 and 35 calories and 6 to 12 grams of added sugar (from agave nectar) per can.
From a taste perspective, these products are well-crafted and enjoyable. The use of juice (3-8% per SKU) gives the drinks a bold and fresh flavor that’s true to the flavor name. Plus, the combination of citrus fruit flavors with an herb or spice counterpart results in the products having depth and a sophisticated taste profile that’s really spot on. This is true of all three varieties and, in our opinion, they are on equal footing and there isn’t really one that rises above the rest.
On the packaging front, we’d describe the products as having a cute and approachable look. This starts with a short 8 ounce can that has the same footprint as a slim 12 ounce can that is about two thirds of the height.
While this is the same can that they use for their core line (with the exception of this can having a regular pull tab to open), CANN has tried to find a happy medium with the label in terms of making it clear that they are siblings but also clear that they are quite different in terms of their function.
To achieve this, CANN has given these products a white background that looks like a “light” version of their flagship line. The Unspiked logo sits directly in the middle of the can and the CANN logo has been moved to the top and has been reduced in size. Finally at the bottom you’ll find the flavor name and a few product descriptors including “bubbly citrus” and “herbal twist.” They don’t make a direct callout for the fact that this product doesn’t have cannabis, but we think that the product name is probably a sufficient clue to help consumers connect the dots.
All of the above being said, we think that CANN creating a cannabis free version of the THC-enhanced line that has the exact same flavors is a pretty interesting move. It could certainly stand to be a nifty way to get a feel for these products before diving into their functional counterparts -- but we could also see some potential confusion or expectations that these products have CBD or some other non-THC component to them (which they don’t).
Either way, this is a fun and enjoyable refreshment beverage that does, despite CANN having taken something away, feel on trend because of its clean ingredients, low calories and flavor pairings. We suspect that this will give CANN the ability to more immediately connect with the masses while retail sales of cannabis products continue to evolve and mature.