It is no secret that the Millennial Generation - those born between roughly 1980 and the early 2000s – will continue to be largely influential in shaping the economy and culture of the United States over the next several decades. Millennials have already begun to play more and more important a role in U.S. markets, particularly cannabis markets, as weed is increasingly accepted and legalized around the country. According to data collected by Brightfield Group from over 1,200 medical marijuana patients throughout California in 2016, Millennials make up approximately half of current cannabis patients, and a whopping 39% of them use marijuana daily. Thus, those looking to invest and succeed in this market today and in the future must strongly consider this consumer group, its needs and demands. Below, cannabis businesses and entrepreneurs will find insight into various characteristics of this important market.
Millennials are willing to spend on quality
Millennials surveyed indicated that on average, each of them is spending nearly $100 per week on marijuana products, nearly 20% more than their non-Millennial counterparts indicated spending over the same period. They are purchasing similar amounts of product, however, making it evident Millennials are purchasing more expensive, elite, and quality products. This staggering amount of money – over $5,000 per year – is more than many Millennials can be expected to spend on their groceries, and as such it seems purchasing quality cannabis products is a very high priority for Millennials. Manufacturers and dispensaries would benefit from working hard to establish the quality nature of their products among this cohort of cannabis users, as they are quite young and will most likely have many years of cannabis use ahead of them, thus securing their customer loyalty will pay off hugely – not only today, but long into the future. One way to do this might include prioritizing...
Online reviews – an indispensable tool and resource
Millennials’ reputations as smart phone addicts and technology experts precedes them, but savvy entrepreneurs and marketers know that this generation is using these resources for many purposes beyond purely social interaction. These well-informed customers effectively leverage their immediate (and constant) access to online information to make better purchases, which is reflected in their behaviors as consumers. For example, about 60% of Millennial cannabis patients claim that they check online reviews on their phones before buying products, which helps inform their purchases. Only about 16% of Millennials were unlikely to do this – making online reviews extremely relevant to those who want their products to be considered by this market. Dispensaries and manufacturers looking to increase their marketability among this age group must ensure that their products and shops are not only present online through popular review sites such as Yelp and WeedMaps, but that they are soliciting and incentivizing reviews as well. Some strategies to increase online presence and activity might include offering discounts to reviewers, or specifically requesting frequent or loyal customers review your business or product. Vendors and manufacturers must also be sure to put out a great product and excellent customer service experience that will lead to positive feedback rather than negative.
The way to a Millennials’ heart is through his stomach
Roughly 40% of Millennial cannabis patients elected edibles as their first choice product, more than any other product category. The most successful strategies when vying for this consumer group will therefore incorporate the production and sales of high-quality edible goods. As this consumer group is far more ethnically diverse than generations before it – about 30% of Millennials identify as Hispanic or Latino, for example, versus 15% among previous generations – it is important to also consider diverse tastes and preferences in edible products that come along with this demographic shift. In order to remain competitive in this market, producers and vendors should be keenly aware and up-to-date on the needs and desires of the various consumers they are serving, and offer a variety of edible products that will appeal to their diverse customer base.