The COVID-19 “reset” has accelerated changes in consumer behavior. Sectors like e-commerce and streaming media have seen years of growth unfold in a matter of months. At the same time, categories like restaurants and travel have been effectively shut down.
Without warning, consumer lifestyles based on mobility and experience are now homebound and virtual. Home is where we live, work, learn, play and shop.
The forced behavior change has been tough on the American psyche. Our collective sense of well-being has declined, isolation has grown and increased daily stress and anxiety are the norm.
Home has also become the new frontline for fitness, well-being and prevention. According to The Harris Poll COVID-19 Tracker, nearly half of Americans say they are taking their health more seriously, and that they are struggling to find ways to maintain their whole health (i.e., physical, mental and spiritual) during the pandemic.
Nearly half of Americans said they wished they had more help practicing self-care during the pandemic.
Taking care of your well-being has transformed from an indulgence to an everyday essential. In the new landscape, mainstream consumers are making the leap from patients to hands-on participants in their well-being.
Americans are bringing fitness home. Half of Americans are exercising at home and sales of health and fitness equipment have doubled between March and October (The NPD Group).
They are also using telemedicine to bring the doctor home. According to Medical Economics, by May of 2020 40% of Americans said they used telehealth services since the start of the pandemic. Another study conducted by Amwell fielded a month later revealed that the number may have risen to almost 60%.
The shift to a hands-on approach to well-being is further illustrated by the rise of health and fitness trackers and apps. Users of health and fitness apps grew 27% from 68.7 million to 87.4 million between 2019 and 2020 (eMarketer). The Harris Poll COVID-19 Tracker found that almost one in five Americans started using health apps since the start of the pandemic.
The Essential Ingredient
During the pandemic, cannabis has become an essential ingredient of many Americans’ physical and emotional well-being. More than 27 million Americans say they started consuming cannabis and CBD since the onset of the pandemic.
The 2020 MRI Simmons Cannabis Study reported that almost 70% of American adults believe cannabis has many health benefits, and 63% say it can be good for the mind and body.
It came as no surprise that cannabis was granted essential business status by twenty-eight state authorities as well as Washington DC and Puerto Rico. According to Politico, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a longtime Capitol Hill champion for cannabis said, “This is something that makes a huge difference to the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every day.”
Politico also reported that some states had seen a 20% growth in cannabis sales as people turned to cannabis to counter pandemic-related stress and anxiety.
The Essential Audience
Given their shared passion for living life to its fullest, today’s cannabis consumers could be a perfect targeting opportunity for brands offering health, fitness and well-being supplements and solutions.
According to MRI Simmons, cannabis consumers share a powerful predisposition for active, healthy, and positive lifestyles. Three quarters agree that “life should be as much fun as possible” and almost 80% are looking for ways to live healthier lives.
They’re early adopters of the latest technology and are constantly checking the app store to see what’s new. They’re influencers, sharing their discoveries, and are the source others turn to for reviews and recommendations.
They actively manage their health and fitness. Two-thirds participate in a long list of sports ranging from golf and tennis to triathlon and yoga. They take a holistic approach to well-being; the majority believe herbal supplements are effective and vitamin supplements improve one’s health.
At the same time, they embrace conventional medical solutions. Two-thirds say medicine has improved the quality of their lives and they’re 7% more likely than the average American to be one of the first to try the most advanced medicines.
Their use of the latest technologies includes health and fitness. They are 13% more likely than the average American to use fitness trackers and wearables from brands like Garmin and Apple.
So what’s the bottom line? For marketers in the health and wellness space, cannabis and CBD consumers represent an audience that is not only receptive to but in search of both alternative and conventional methods of well-being as their transformation from patient to participant accelerates.
To learn more about why marketing leaders are racing to reach cannabis consumers, download the whitepaper — Why Cannabis Audiences Are The New Gateway To Growth For Big Brands.