Founded in 2015, Wyld has built an empire of cannabis gummies in North America. Edibles powerhouse brand Wyld looks back on the growth its brand has witnessed since its very first showing at Hall of Flowers Santa Rosa back in 2019, what retailers and industry folks can expect from Wyld on the floor at HOF Toronto next week on Sept. 19 & 20, 2023, and how the trade show has helped the brand grow in the highly competitive cannabis market of weed gummies.
“Wyld has been exhibiting at Hall of Flowers since the beginning,” says Rene Kaza, Co-founder of Wyld. “Last year we activated at Canada’s inaugural show in 2022—we love to show up with our people and interact with the industry whenever we can. Our people are a massive strength at Wyld on both sides of the border.”
We caught up with Wyld before their showing at HoF Toronto, each team member offering a comprehensive perspective on what makes the brand thrive.
On the true differences between the two massive cannabis markets: “The obvious difference is how national vs. State-level legalization impacts routes to market,” says Ian Renaud, the brand’s Trade Marketing Manager for the Canada market. “In the US, some states have similarities to Canada while others are vastly different. In Canada with federal legalization, we have a unique set of advantages and challenges. One advantage is our ability to roll out new products and campaigns nationally if we choose, whereas in the US things tend to be broken out state-by-state. One unique and massive challenge in Canada would be current legislation limiting THC in edibles to 10mg per package—but in true Wyld fashion, we turned this into an opportunity to introduce Canada’s first compostable cannabis packaging.”
“Launching the Wyld brand in Canada with plastic containers was not an option for us,” says Kaza. “Our team worked with suppliers and manufacturers across the globe to come up with a fully compostable, food-safe, child-resistant pouch. We’re proud to kick off our Canadian journey with a sustainable option for consumers.”
On advice for new brands wanting to navigate both markets: “As a Canadian who has just helped our US brand launch in Canada—just know, you’re not as special as you think you are,” says Renaud. “Canadians, while sharing many similarities to Americans, have distinct values, cultures and communities that you need to consider. It’s not just hiring a local team—you truly need to get to know the market and immerse yourself in its values to understand consumer behavior, and take a measured approach to up-front investment.”
On the advantages of Hall of Flowers: “Being a B2B show, we know our audience going in and attendees know why they are there mostly,” says Renaud. “Doing business out in the open is expected, and that’s what we do. And compared to some other trade shows, the cost for a booth makes sense up front.”
“Hall of Flowers encourages commerce. While some cannabis conferences lack focus and purpose, HoF brings together the right people to the room for meaningful conversations. At events, it can sometimes be challenging to quantify ROI, but for us, we often see direct results from the show through distribution data.”– Rene Kaza, co-founder of WYLD
“In Canada, we have been able to secure partnerships and grow relationships with provincial boards who are responsible for listing Wyld products for entire regions, unlocking millions of potential Wyld consumers,” explains Ian Renaud, Trade Marketing Manager, Canada.
Wyld’s first HOF was in Fall of 2019 in Santa Rosa. “We had just launched the Wyld brand into California that March, starting in Northern California and slowly moving our way to Southern California around August 2019,” recalls Aaron Peck, SVP Sales at Wyld. “It was an exciting time for Wyld—before launching in California we were only established in Oregon and Nevada which also launched in March of ’19. Our focus over the years has always been to engage with buyers, budtenders, and consumers to build relationships, have strategic conversations regarding partnerships, and educate about Wyld’s progress as we rapidly expand across the US and Canada. We always bring news with us too, whether that’s innovation or the evolution of Wyld—like in 2022 when we became the first cannabis company to be Climate Neutral Certified.”
“The number of people visiting our booth has grown at every event,” says Peck. “We love hearing from people who are excited to share their story with us on how Wyld products have enhanced their lives and want to hear what’s next for the company. Attendees love our samples and swag, and we love getting feedback to continually improve how we show up to HoF. We see attendees from across the US, Canada, Mexico, and Europe now. The event has certainly made a name for itself over the years, and we are so pleased to be a partner.”
On sustainability: “One of Wyld’s core beliefs is that our business should never negatively impact the environment,” says Wyld’s Senior Brand Manager Kale Gray. “It’s a belief that drives us to be better today than we were yesterday. Sustainable packaging is one step towards that very large goal. We were proud to launch in Canada with 100% home compostable packaging which has challenged us to find solutions for every aspect of packaging we release in our business. Sustainable packaging solutions are not an easy challenge, but it’s one we are happy to tackle every single day. As the first Climate Neutral Certified cannabis company, we’ve made sustainability a key part of our business. By doing so, we hope to set the tone for what is possible to incorporate sustainability into business practices.”
“The main thing for other brands to realize is that you’re never going to be perfect, but it all begins with making the choice to want do better and to create less impact. But we really do live this as an organization—it’s not just eco-consciousness, whatever that means. It’s a value we hold close in every decision because urgent climate action is needed right now, and we try our best to act with that in mind.”
On research and development and how much time it takes to find a new Wyld flavor: “Wyld’s product offering decisions always put the consumer at the center of the process,” says the Senior Brand Manager. “Our amazing team of food scientists are constantly testing, developing, and improving on all aspects of our product. It’s quite an amazing process as multiple departments come together to make sure that we are creating the best products that also offer something for everyone. Each Wyld product offers a different experience—which is a powerful thing for the end consumer. It allows cannabis to be introduced to a lifestyle in an approachable, functional way.
Wyld gives Hall of Flowers readers a hint of the “secret sauce” to stand out in a competitive market. “Each brand is its own opportunity,” says Gray. “It really comes down to finding who you are, what you stand for, and being innovative in your approach.”