The global pandemic sent shockwaves around the world, reflected in a turbulent year and huge losses across so many industries. One industry immune to the global shutdown was the pre-rolled cone industry which continued to build on past successes. Here we reflect on the past twelve months and the future-proof nature of this growing industry.
○ Global shutdowns lead to increased demand for rolling paper cones
Global shutdowns and economic fluctuation have resulted in the collapse of business and trade around the world. The pre-rolled cone industry is an exception, having weathered the storm and emerged stronger for it. In fact, global shutdown and lockdowns have actually worked in favor of this industry.
Consumers have had more time at home to relax and spend time researching their choices around their favorite products. Mitra Prodin has committed to the highest production standards, and its products have emerged as a winner in a tightly held market.
Pre-rolled cones also brought convenience to consumers, with sales of pre-rolled cones increasing significantly throughout 2020 and 2021. The standard sizes – king-size, 1.1/4, and 98’s are still the best sellers. Alongside this is a range of new ‘dog walker’ sizes that have risen in popularity.
The 0.25 and 0.5 grams, branded, decorative, scented papers, have become increasingly popular as consumers look to invest in personalized products that make them feel good and enhance wellbeing.
○ Shifting market regulations, increased demand
Shifts in industry regulations also encouraged the increase in demand. The market regulations loosened around the globe and opened up new possibilities within the industry.
Meeting the demands of these markets was possibly the biggest challenge over the last 12 months.
Suppliers were forced to pivot and adjust to strict hygiene, health, and safety regulations to keep both consumers and workforces safe.
These demands on supply and production standards meant shutdowns for those who couldn’t meet the challenges of managing their workforce and factory.
○ Increasing production, maximizing workplace safety
The pre-rolled cone industry is a blend of art and science. Cones are rolled by hand and quality controlled by workers and supervisors. They must ensure that each cone is shaped to exacting standards, with consistent diameters and lengths across the product range.
With restrictions to keep workplaces safe, limit contact and potential illness, factory space had to expand.
Mitra Prodin met the challenges head-on, expanding production capacity and creating more employment opportunities for their local workforce while keeping workers as safe as possible.
Mitra Prodin increased hires, created additional work shifts, and increased capacity while keeping the workforce and consumers safe.
Thousands of workers rolling cones by hand meant Mitra Prodin had to expand to meet physical distancing restrictions.
The factory converted parking spaces into production floors, shifting their walls back and building extensions onto almost all of their facilities. Alongside that, government approval was sought to allow workers to be split into more shifts, meaning all employees still had the chance to work full-time rather than losing jobs or wages which has occurred in almost every other industry.
It also created a determined workforce to support the steady growth in production capacity and meet the increasing demand for products.
○ Managing supply disruptions
Logistical disruptions have been a constant feature over the last twelve months. The suppliers have had to learn to factor this into production schedules.
Shortages of shipping containers, the blockage in the Suez Canal, the shipping containers getting stuck in port due to pandemic restrictions, and inflated shipping prices caused significant disruptions to supply chains.
Mitra Prodin has adapted to this by building shipping disruption into its distribution plan. By planning ahead of time, allowing for distribution disruption, shifting to air freight distribution models, and booking containers well in advance, the supply disruption and sales loss have been mitigated.
○ Looking ahead – future-proofing the industry
New markets opening throughout North America, Latin America, and some countries within Africa and Europe, continue to grow demand. Pre-rolled cones in smaller sizes lead this market. Rolling papers cultural changes emerged in response to the pandemic and the need for increased hygiene. Pushing forward into these markets with branded pre-rolled cones in small, individualized sizes and designs is key to meeting the changing demand.
Strong relationships between clients, suppliers, producers, and distributors are vital to ensuring supply chain issues can be worked through, and the quality of the product remains uncompromised. The suppliers need to ensure that increased production demands don’t lead to decreased quality, as consumers have never been so focused on high quality, safety, and precision. They know what they want and with an increasing number of suppliers, have never had so many options to choose from. Remaining ahead of the pack relies upon the reliability of quality and production to the highest standards.
Standardization and quality control are central to future-proofing the pre-rolled cones industry. Controlling the supply chain of rolling papers, glue, and the production of cones, adopting GMP standards, quality control, and assurance throughout every stage of production ensures industry integrity. LOT control, batch numbers, and labelling of products may become industry standards for regulating import and sales. Records of cones and batch numbers for traceability are also a key step in moving the industry forward.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the world realized the enormous impact on travel, economies, health, tradeshows and conferences were put on hold. These events connect suppliers, producers, and consumers and are so vital for the health of the industry. Moreover, they’re fun and were sorely missed!
As vaccine programs are successfully rolled out and the world starts to tentatively reopen. 2021 has seen the return of in-person tradeshows and conferences and the event calendar for 2022 looks even more promising.