Member Blog: A Less Than Subtle Hint
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Member Blog: A Less Than Subtle Hint


By Kary Radestock, Hippo Premium Packaging

Valentine’s Day is coming. To some, it will be a wonderful day filled with candy and gifts and expressions of devotion. To others, it feels like an obligation designed to enrich greeting card companies, jewelry stores, and florists. 

Whichever side of the fence you fall on, the fact is, this is one of the most important periods for retailers. According to the National Retail Federation, Valentine’s Day spending in 2020 totaled about $27.4 billion.

And with all this spending, brands really matter.

For instance, who wouldn’t want to get a silver or white gold necklace from Tiffany? Truthfully, it’s not that different from other necklaces on the market that are just a fraction of the price, but those don’t come with the Tiffany name and that iconic powder blue rigid box packaging. 

The Unboxing Makes It Special 

Beautiful packaging provides the foundation for companies to build a luxury brand and command higher prices in the marketplace. It’s how Harry and David can charge $40 for the box of 9 pears I received for the holidays. 

I know their fruit is top of the line quality, but I just checked and I can get pears for about a buck each at my local Whole Foods. That’s more than just a bit of a difference!

What makes the price palatable and the product premium is the packaging.

Steve Jobs knew this and insisted that Apple products were always creatively packaged. “Packaging can be theater,” he said. “It can create a story.”

A beautiful package leaves a lasting impression. When a consumer has a hard time throwing away the box a gift came in, it’s a sign your brand is on the right track. How many of you kept the box your iPhone came in? I know I did and probably still have it. 

Whether it is the precise fit of Apple’s packaging that makes you wonder how all those items fit so perfectly inside, or the fresh-off-the-farm feeling you get when opening a gift from Harry and David, luxury brands rely on premium packaging to help convey the idea that they are truly special and worth the higher price. 

Cannabis Love

While Valentine’s Day isn’t as big a holiday in the cannabis world as 420, it does generate an impressive boost in sales. 

Point-of-sale data from the cannabis software firm Flowhub and analytics company Headset found that Valentine’s Day spending increased among recreational consumers with sales jumping 20-32 percent over a typical day. Infused “mocktails” had the largest jump with sales rising 596 percent above normal. ‍

Bath products and salts increased by 186 percent. Massage oil and lubricant sales rose by 88 percent.

Infused chocolates increased 33% and infused gummies rose 43%.

And the single most important factor in purchasing decisions, whether in the mainstream or the cannabis sector, is branding.

An article in Civilized said that cannabis products can be made exceptional and more valuable by communicating their distinctive properties through the branding process. 

“Branding in the cannabis industry is what makes an agricultural product and the business that refines the plant more distinctive,” the article stated. “Branding creates an emotional connection, and when done effectively, branding can prevent products or services from failing.”

And with limited options to build a cannabis brand through traditional media, the packaging becomes even more vital to the product’s success. 

The importance of packaging cannot be overstated. It is one of the strongest factors that influence a purchasing decision. It provides the first impression of the product to the consumer and it is the last thing they see before making their selection. 

Not only can good quality packaging grab a consumer’s attention, but it can also communicate a brand’s messaging and convey key competitive differences. Conversely, some otherwise excellent products fail due to inferior packaging. 

Therefore, it is vital that packaging is carefully designed so that it builds the brand, stimulates sales, conveys key messaging, and generates consumer loyalty.

So, this Valentine’s Day, whether you celebrate with cannabis or candy or not at all, remember that brands matter. People want gifts from the brands they know, trust, and aspire to own.

Personally, I am hoping to luxuriate in a tub filled with infused bath salts while opening a special little blue box (Jon, are you listening?).

Happy Valentine’s Day!


KaryKary Radestock, CEO, launched Hippo Premium Packaging in March 2016 offering an array of services to the cannabis market, including: Marketing Strategy, Brand Development, Social Media, Public Relations, Graphic and Web Design, and of course, Printing and Packaging. Radestock brings over 20 years of award-winning print and packaging expertise, and leads a team of the nation’s top brand builders, marketers and print production experts. Hippo works with businesses looking for a brand refresh or an entire brand development, and specializes in helping canna-business get their products to market in the most beautiful and affordable way possible. Radestock’s Creative Collective of talent and experts, allows her to offer world-class solutions to support the unique needs of the Cannabis Industry. 

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