April 6, 2020

4 Min Read
Chocolates’ Packaging Elevates the Cannabis Experience
Coda Signature’s award-winning packaging design draws cues from classical music.

Coda Signature’s edibles draw inspiration from classical music and classic chocolate to convey luxury similar to traditional high-end brands like Godiva and Lindt.

What distinguishes Coda Signature’s luxury chocolates from other high-end offerings is that the pouches, bars, and boxed products are cannabis-infused edibles. 

The brand’s packaging is inspired by both classical music and classic chocolate and is similar to traditional chocolate brands like Godiva and Lindt.  Founded in 2015, Coda Signature operates in Colorado, though it was compelled to shift their packaging strategies due to regulations when they launched into California. For example, Coda Signature offers cannabis-infused truffles, and California doesn't allow mixing multiple varieties of a cannabis product in one box; unlike traditional boxes of chocolate, each of Coda Signature's truffle boxes contains one flavor. 

Kevin Roff, Product Development Manager, Coda Signature, discusses the brand’s packaging and design.

Comment on the brand’s history and business proposition.

Roff: Coda Signature seeks to elevate the experience of cannabis the way music elevates life. Inspired by both classical music and classical confections, Coda Signature creates cannabis-infused products full of imagination. The company has established itself as a leading luxury brand with products featuring bold flavor combinations and quality, natural ingredients. 

Coda Signature’s edibles, concentrates, and topicals are available in more than 800 dispensaries across Colorado and California, with planned expansion into other emerging markets in North America. Coda Signature has received dozens of industry awards across all its product categories including the 2019 California Emerald Cup; 2019 High Times Colorado Cannabis Cup; 2019 MJBizDaily Awards finalist in the U.S. Market Leader category; and Leaflink’s 2019 Best-Selling Products list. 

Who’s your target audience?

Roff: Our consumer is looking for a premium-quality product at price parity. They want the same delicious, decadent experience that they would get from a traditional uninfused food brand—but even better.

How many different products/SKUs are in your portfolio? And what’s the pricing?

Roff: In Colorado we have 25 SKUs for edibles, 9 SKUs for topicals and 6 SKUs for concentrates.  In California we have 13 edibles, seven topicals, and six concentrates. Our products include several varieties of chocolate bars; truffles; Fruit Notes gummies; chocolate on a spoon; CO2 cannabis oil and distillate concentrates; bath bombs; and massage oils.

The suggested retail price varies by retail location. 

We have a rigorous process for managing our portfolio. We exit underperforming products and introduce new ones throughout the course of the year.

Comment on your packaging formats.

Roff: We use boxes for our chocolate bars and truffles, and pouches for our Fruit Notes. Our topicals and concentrates also come in boxes. All of our packaging is child-resistant and composed of food-grade materials, with flat surfaces and pull-out sheaths that showcase our visual designs.

Why was this packaging selected?

Roff: We look for packaging that is both beautiful and compliant. Because of state regulations for child-resistant cannabis packaging, Coda Signature developed package elements that meet requirements without sacrificing design. Until cannabis legalization, traditional child-resistant package design just looked like a prescription pill bottle. But as cannabis products have become sophisticated and diverse, brands like Coda Signature innovated compliant packaging to be more refined, with a luxury aesthetic. We’ll continue streamlining our packaging in the future as regulations allow. 

Describe the design and major graphic elements.

Roff: Our packaging all goes back to our brand’s promise to delight the senses, and the packaging is the first impression we make in retail stores. The background is black and white—and then we let the colors of the natural ingredients featured in our products shine through. Each of our packages tells a story about the product experience within, whether it be the nostalgic comfort of coffee and doughnuts or the bold excitement of jalapeño and pineapple. 

What was a packaging development challenge?

Roff: Coda Signature’s packaging must strike the balance between safety and simplicity. How do we create packaging that meets regulatory compliance and child-resistant measures, while conveying beauty and elegance? Our solution was to go beyond expectations and develop packaging that is just as ingenious as the products inside it.

Can you credit any design firms or any packaging suppliers?

Roff: Our pre-press partner is the Ohio-based firm Gravity. They are amazing.

What’s not apparent that you can point out?

Roff: In cannabis, packaging is always a key part of the entire product development process. It requires more behind-the-scenes planning than people realize, and it takes a lot of creativity and agility to bring about the beautiful final product that you see in stores.

Anything else to mention?

Roff: The infused-products sector is becoming increasingly competitive, and the right packaging can set apart the good brands from the great. Our thoughtful packaging design is a big part of why Coda Signature has resonated with our customers across multiple states, and it will be even more important as we expand to new markets.


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