The 3 Most Surprising 2020 Cannabis Insights for Cannabis Brands
For cannabis brands, 2020 was an eye-opener. This week Eaze released their year in review for cannabis 2020 that offers cannabis brand insights. As a delivery service, Eaze can pick up on some fascinating stats from a year that was (hopefully) like none other. Unsurprisingly to those in the industry, high anxiety levels fueled cannabis consumption to new heights in 2020; order volume was up by 15% on the Eaze platform even though dispensaries are considered essential businesses in many states, including California, which is 2X the combined size of the four states (AZ, JN, MT, MD) that legalized in 2020. The question is always “will this be the same or better in 2021?” While stats from years past are always fascinating, especially if they are an anomaly, when we looked at it, we see some trends worth noting for 2021 as well.
#1 Vapes Held Their Own Across All Ages
Even after the 2019 vape crisis, cannabis users continued to choose vapes consistently. While edibles were the #1 category of 2020, for GenZ they remained first choice. Apparently, GenZ isn’t concerned in the slightest about the vapes and continues to trust that cannabis brands will continue to earn their trust. Vapes were second only to edibles for Millenials and GenX. These two generations are very familiar with vapes, so there’s no surprise there and plenty of vape brands squarely target these demographics.
Boomers also chose vapes, they came third behind edibles and flower. Perhaps because of the covid-lung concerns, Boomer vape purchases declined in 2020, but vapes still outperformed topicals and prerolls for Boomers, which is fascinating given their appeal to the age group. The fact that Boomers choose flower second only to edibles isn’t much of a surprise considering the nostalgia that flower holds for that generation. If you’re a flower company, that’s definitely something to tap into in your cannabis public relations, branding, and advertising.
These 2020 cannabis brand insights offer some really interesting cannabis product, cannabis public relations, and cannabis advertising opportunities that competitors may miss.
#2 Purpose Driven Cannabis Brands See Big Gains
Within cannabis, the number #1 purpose-driven theme is social equity, which has been important since legalization started. 2020 heightened social equity awareness for all consumers and cannabis buyers especially responded. According to Eaze, 9.5% of all customers bought social equity brands. What’s surprising in the cannabis stats for cannabis brands is customers over 30 were more likely purchase from social equity brands than younger customers. Men, in particular, were more likely to buy from social equity brands than women. These two statistics are surprising because they aren’t consistent with typical purpose-driven brand buyers which typically skew female and younger.
#3 420 NOT the Biggest Cannabis Holiday in 2020
Green Wednesday, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving topped the purchase charts in 2020, up from second place in 2019. What’s also interesting is the others big seller nights: last night of Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve. None of these last 4 “cannabis holidays even broke into the top 5 in 2019, so their appearance provides overlooked cannabis public relations and advertising opportunities in 2021. Be on the lookout for other lifestyle holidays your customers might pair with cannabis because 2021 will continue to be disruptive in terms of large-scale events and large gatherings which typically dominated big sales days outside of 420 in previous years. The 2020 cannabis brand insights report by Eaze lists some outstanding examples of big sales days driven by current events or lifestyle.
Overall, like others, we expect 2021 to be a very good year for cannabis sales, but since consumer habits are changing it will be ever more important for cannabis brands to watch their own data closely so they can engage and expect their customers’ next move.