Study: Younger Generations Support Sale of Cannabis Products in C-stores

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Study: Younger Generations Support Sale of Cannabis Products in C-stores


SAN DIEGO — As the cannabis industry advances toward legalization, its intersections are descending rapidly into the CPG, foodservice, grocery and convenience store sectors.

Consumers' perceptions of retailers that are breaking into the space is becoming increasingly important, as is convenience operators' understanding of who the cannabis consumer is, and how to reach them without alienating those consumers who aren't.  

TrendSource's latest 2019 Cannabis Industry Report found that while consumers may be comfortable with the current dispensary and even delivery format, they prove less willing to accept cannabis sales from existing retail channels. When asked how their opinions of retailers would change if they began selling cannabis infused CPG products such as edibles, topicals and beverages, 35.3 percent said their opinion would be lower of c-stores vs. liquor stores (30.3 percent), grocery stores (36.5 percent) and fast food restaurants (43.2 percent).

Younger consumers, particularly millennials, are more comfortable with the proliferation of cannabis products and with them permeating into existing retailers and manufacturers. Millennials noted that permeation wouldn't affect their opinion (3.19 on a scale of 1-5, where 1 represents "much lower opinion" and 5 represents "much higher opinion") as opposed to Gen X (2.77), baby boomers (2.34) and the silent generation (1.94).

While 61.3 percent of overall respondents said they would not avoid a retailer for selling cannabis products, between roughly 20-30 percent of respondents would boycott businesses selling cannabis, with fast food restaurants being the biggest victim at 31.7, liquor stores taking the smallest hit at 19.9 percent, and c-stores being smack-dab in the middle at 23.8 percent.

Other findings among TrendSource's 2019 Cannabis Industry Report include:

  • A whopping 93 percent of consumers are current cannabis users and favor recreational legalization. Sixty percent of respondents said they feel cannabis should be legal for recreational, while 40 do not.
  • When considering whether or not they would use cannabis in the future, 17.5 percent of non-current cannabis users said that they would consider future consumption, and 38 percent gave a cautionary "maybe." On the other hand, 44 percent said they would never change their mind.
  • The top factor in non-users' reservations for use is that cannabis use is illegal where they live (3.43 on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 represents "not at all important" and 5 represents "extremely important"). They are also concerned about product quality (3.26), negative health effects (3.19), addiction risk (3) and cost (2.82).
  • Women appear to be more comfortable in each and every possible social situation regarding cannabis consumption, whether it’s consuming cannabis alone (3.62 on a scale of 1 to 5) vs. men (3.51); consuming cannabis in a social setting (3.59 vs. 3.09); or being under the influence of cannabis in public settings (3.72 vs. 3.37).
  • More than 80 percent of consumers are interested in purchasing cannabis-infused health supplements, snack foods (61.1 percent), sodas (47.5 percent) and alcoholic beverages (43 percent).

For more insights and to download TrendSource's 2019 Cannabis Industry Report, click here.

TrendSource is a full-service market research and strategic consulting firm based in San Diego.