Business intelligence company Euromonitor International’s Cannabis Survey has identified six adult cannabis consumer archetypes to guide companies aiming to capitalise on a market tipped to hit US$90 billion by 2025.

In its new white paper ‘Breaking Stereotypes: Getting to Know the Cannabis Consumer’, Euromonitor identifies ‘the Seasoned Consumer’ as a long-time, regular consumer who uses cannabis to enhance their well-being. Some 24% of this group suffer from high or extreme stress while 64% are strongly in favour of recreational legalisation.

This group are interested in unique strains, production quality, and novel formats which suggest connoisseurship.

‘The Casual Social’ is a younger, newer consumer leveraging cannabinoid products as part of their wider lifestyle. Of this group, 75% take vitamins or health supplements at least monthly, while 61% are strongly in favour of recreational legalisation.

Seasoned consumers are interested in unique strains, production quality, and novel formats which suggest connoisseurship

Companies aiming to reach this group are advised to target them in spaces away from home to highlight the social element and lifestyle benefits of cannabis.

‘The Dabbler’ is an occasional user, familiar and comfortable with the substance, but unlikely to see it as a key part of their lifestyle. Some 68% are in favour of its legalisation for medicinal use while 45% believe legal cannabis should be at least as widely available as tobacco and alcohol.

Companies offering a diversified and affordable portfolio with a range of formats will appeal to this group. Dabblers will also be swayed by influencers helping to bring cannabis use to the front of their minds.

‘The Cannacurious’ form a broad consumer group with an interest in adult-use cannabis consumption if legalised in their country, but with limited knowledge about cannabinoid products. Of this group, 56% are in favour of legalisation for medicinal use, while only 43% support adult-use liberalisation.

Companies should use authoritative, credible voices to reassure them of the safety and efficacy of cannabinoid products.

‘The Unsparked’ are consumers who are outwardly negative towards cannabis use, but express enough uncertainty that many could be persuaded to engage further. Some 18% of these consumers believe cannabis is unsafe, while 8% see it as something that enhances a user’s lifestyle.

Normalisation is important for the Unsparked as they will not be willing to lead the way. Health and wellness success stories from experts, peer word of mouth and celebrity endorsements will appeal to them.

‘The Naysayer’ is strongly against adult use with only 8% in favour of legalisation. They are not an immediate target for producers and brand owners. They also self report as the least stressed of all the groups, with 51% stating they either have no or low levels of daily stress.

Naysayers will require extensive normalisation to change their views

Naysayers are unlikely to consider consuming cannabis products and will require extensive normalisation to change their views. Trusted consumer goods brands might attract some of this group with low-dose cannabinoid products among a range of other ingredients

Euromonitor’s Cannabis Survey is part of its wider global cannabis research program. Launched in November 2020, it captures the current use of cannabinoid products, frequency and volume of use and format preferences among existing consumers in 20 of the most relevant cannabis markets accounting for more than 95% of legal cannabis consumption.

The survey also probes attitudes towards cannabis among the public and gauges the extent to which current non-consumers of cannabinoid products plan to start consuming in the future.

The report concludes: “The legal cannabis industry must mirror the views and values of its consumers, given its history and the nature of its often counter-cultural evolution. Industry players can only achieve this with a nuanced segmentation and holistic understanding of participants in the sector.”

  • ‘Breaking Stereotypes: Getting to Know the Cannabis Consumer’ can be downloaded here.