CHICAGO, Oct. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Recent research by A.T. Kearney into American and Canadian consumer attitudes toward legalized cannabis revealed that more than three-quarters (76 percent) would try medicinal cannabis products and about half would try cannabis-enhanced consumer products such as snack foods (55 percent), nutritional supplements (50 percent) and cosmetics (43 percent). While North American attitudes toward marijuana are relaxing almost as quickly as the laws that regulate it, what may be unexpected is how many consumers indicate their readiness to test legal cannabis products and their positive attitude toward brands that would bring them to market. Notes Randy Burt, a partner in A.T. Kearney's consumer and retail practice, "The survey clearly demonstrates the viability of the market for cannabis across multiple consumer segments – CPGs and retailers focused on health and wellness, snacking, functional food and beverage, and beverage alcohol need to have a perspective on how they will approach the cannabis opportunity."
This new and groundbreaking study of 2,000 American and Canadian consumers' attitudes toward marijuana and cannabis-based or infused products found over half of respondents willing to try recreational cannabis when, or if, it becomes legal. The survey indicates that health and wellness, beauty and personal care companies introducing products with cannabis ingredients would see an improvement in public perception—overall, over 85 percent of respondents said they would have an improved or neutral perception of their favorite brand if it were to launch a product containing cannabis.
Among the study's key findings:
Overall, 76 percent of respondents said they would be likely to try a legal therapeutic product infused with cannabis
Consumers are most likely to try cannabis in foods, supplements, and cosmetics or skincare products
Of those individuals who said they would try recreational cannabis, most would consume it in place of beer
Reasons given by respondents for not trying cannabis are diverse and very personal
For companies, releasing a cannabis product does not diminish consumer perception
The plant's properties as an intoxicant are well known, but the market for cannabis products that don't produce a sense of euphoria (or "high") may be even larger than the recreational market. A.T. Kearney's study found that over 75 percent of respondents were aware that cannabis has beneficial but non-psychoactive components. Across all age groups, approximately 80 percent agreed or strongly agreed that cannabis products offer wellness or therapeutic benefits.
While a strong majority (79 percent) of consumers surveyed believe the products have therapeutic properties, they want to be able to trust the companies bringing them to market. Nearly three-quarters of U.S. and Canadian respondents 73 and 71 percent, respectively) indicated that brand was very or somewhat important in assessing the quality and safety of products derived from, or infused with, cannabis.
When asked, "How would you perceive your favorite brand if they launched a product containing cannabis?" 86 percent of American and 84 percent of Canadian respondents indicated their perceptions would be improved or would not change. Drilling down on those sentiments revealed almost half of all respondents (49 percent) said they would buy more frequently from brands offering cannabis products; 46 percent would feel more loyal to those brands; 36 percent felt that the brands would better represent their values; and 42 percent would see brands bringing cannabis products to market as "innovative or trendy."
The survey findings translate into a huge potential consumer market for cannabis-infused products, especially given that the use of medical and recreational marijuana will be legalized throughout Canada this month. As of this release—the use of medical marijuana is legal in 30 U.S. states and recreational marijuana is legal in nine. Reform of marijuana laws will be on the ballot this November in Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, and Utah.
For this study, A.T. Kearney surveyed 1,000 US and 1,000 Canadian consumers, from various demographic and economic backgrounds, who had an awareness of the term "cannabis."
About A.T. Kearney
A.T. Kearney is a leading global management consulting firm with offices in more than 40 countries. Since 1926, we have been trusted advisors to the world's foremost organizations. A.T. Kearney is a partner-owned firm, committed to helping clients achieve immediate impact and growing advantage on their most mission-critical issues. For more information, visit www.atkearney.com.