Exclusive: Saucey and Emjay Join Forces, Creating New E-Commerce Company Uniting Beverage and Cannabis DeliveryOctober 27, 2020
Pacific Consolidated Holdings (PCH), a newly formed holding company based in Los Angeles, today announced the merger of beverage alcohol e-commerce and delivery company Saucey with Emjay, a similar service focused on cannabis. PCH is helmed by Saucey co-founders Chris Vaughn and Daniel Leeb, who serve as CEO and COO, respectively. The pair took the reins of Emjay in January of this year following its launch in 2019, and have merged the two companies under the PCH banner, backed by London and Los Angeles-based investment fund The Inception Companies.
While Saucey is present in more than 20 U.S. markets nationwide, Emjay is currently only available in the greater Los Angeles area. That will change over the rest of the year into early next year, Vaughn told SND, as the company is licensed throughout the state and will bring operations online to significantly expand its California presence. Though cannabis purchases and delivery are required by law to be separate from any other products, the merger will streamline the registration and purchase process for customers by allowing Emjay users to sign up with their existing Saucey account beginning this week. “Over the coming months that integration is going to be even further intertwined,” Vaughn said. “The ability to take Saucey’s user base, which is in the millions, and make Emjay accessible to them makes for a really seamless experience.”
The merger was prompted by polling Saucey conducted of its California customers, 70% of whom said they would strongly like a cannabis delivery option. Vaughn noted that while alcohol delivery is essentially a new development, delivery has been a fairly standard way to purchase cannabis for decades prior to legalization. The pandemic only exaggerated the preference for delivery and drove sign-ups among new consumers, Vaughn said.
“We saw a lot of people in quarantine, nothing to do, can’t go out and have their usual glass of wine at a bar or whatever it may be, and say, ‘You know what? Maybe I’ll give cannabis a shot.’ One product that’s been an incredible lead-in for people new to the category is Cann Tonics. They’re a 2mg THC beverage that tastes incredible, and it makes you feel almost exactly like you had a beer or a glass of wine.”
A powerful aspect of the e-commerce model is the insights it generates about the consumer. With recreational cannabis still in its nascent stages, there remains a great deal of uncertainty about who the cannabis consumer is, how they should be marketed to, and how they differ from beverage alcohol consumers, for instance. With Saucey and Emjay under one roof, Vaughn is in a position to make those comparisons. On Saucey, he says, customers are split nearly evenly between men and women, with 25 to 35 year olds making up its largest contingent, followed by 35 to 45 year olds. On Emjay, the age brackets are identical but men account for closer to 60% of consumers.
The technology also allows the company to draw conclusions about shopping behavior. Men, Vaughn says, tend to stick to flower products while women are more exploratory, trying out new products and form factors. On Saucey, most purchases are impulse-driven, which is why the company focuses on maintaining a 30-minute delivery window. Cannabis purchases, by contrast, generally appear to be more planned. “People shop for it much more like they shop for basics at the grocery store,” he said. Brand loyalty also varies by form factor, with flower enjoying very little loyalty while wellness products prompt extreme dedication.
Developing these insights are a key priority for the company moving forward. “The biggest thing is to understand this consumer, how they’re changing, how they shop, how they behave, and how they get introduced to different products across industries,” Vaughn said. “If you want to understand the cannabis consumer and you’re not in California, you’re just going to be years behind.”Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning. You will also receive the Cannabis edition as part of your subscription.