The Reasons Behind Interest in Cannabis-Infused Products Vary by Generation

cannabis-infused chocolate

CHICAGO — While younger consumers are significantly more interested in trying cannabis-infused products, older consumers are still open to trying them in a functional or medical context, a new study from Culinary Visions found.

According to The Culinary Visions Cannabis Products Project, for consumers over 55, the hesitation may be health-driven; however, health concerns may exactly be what ultimately convince this demographic to give cannabis-infused products a shot.

"When it came to considering these products for medical reasons, consumers over 55 were more receptive, with a majority stating that they were interested in trying these products for the purpose of pain relief, anxiety treatment or as a sleep aid," said Sharon Olson, executive director of Culinary Visions.

The food-focused insights and trends forecasting practice found a gap in interest in purchasing cannabis-infused food and beverage products between consumers ages 21-34 and consumers ages 55 and older, with consumers ages 35-54 bridging the middle.

While 57 percent of consumers ages 21-34 said they were interested in consuming cannabis-infused products for recreational use, only 40 percent of those 35-54 and 27 percent of those 55 and older agreed with the same statement.

When asked to consider cannabis ingestion for medical use, however, consumers over 55 were much more willing to consume. Fifty-six percent of those ages 35-54 and 51 percent of those 55 and older said they were interested in consuming cannabis-infused products for medical purposes. As for younger consumers ages 21-34, their already favorable outlook surged to 66 percent.

When it comes to the top product categories consumers would be the most interested in, Culinary Visions found that baked goods reigned supreme, followed by candies/gummies, non-alcoholic beverages and snacks:

Baked goods

  • Ages 21-34: 63 percent
  • Ages 35-54: 49 percent
  • Ages 55+: 34 percent


  • Ages 21-34: 62 percent
  • Ages 35-54: 46 percent
  • Ages 55+: 28 percent

Non-alcoholic beverages 

  • Ages 21-34: 54 percent
  • Ages 35-54: 42 percent
  • Ages 55+: 27 percent  


  • Ages 21-34: 41 percent
  • Ages 35-54: 17 percent
  • Ages 55+: 10 percent

The study also indicated that further educating consumers on the potential benefits of these products may be the best way to reach an expanded demographic. Half of respondents agreed that they would feel more comfortable buying cannabis-infused products if they could speak to a knowledgeable sales representative.

Chicago-based Culinary Visions is a food-focused insights and trends forecasting practice that studies a wide range of culinary topics important to consumers and food industry professionals. Culinary Visions is a division and registered trademark of Olson Communications Inc.