How Weed is Getting a Glam Makeover for a New Generation

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Marijuana is getting a high-end re-brand for a new strain (sorry) of young consumers looking to toke up with $1,000 artisanal bongs and micro-dosed CBD pastilles. These 4 brands are catering to their weed needs…

Young cannabis consumers are leaving the burnt-out stoner cliché behind—seeking out brands that can bring them the high-end weed they want in the places they want to buy it. According to our Cannabis Infusion trend, 70% of Millennials don’t think that people who partake are burnt-out stoners; in fact, 31% have tried marijuana themselves and nearly half think that it should be legalized for both medicinal and recreational use. That shifting sentiment among young people has resulted in increasing legalization across the U.S., and a consumer that’s ready to rethink cannabis culture. The weed-acceptance culture has opened a new market for brands, one that is expected to reach $20.9 billion by the year 2021.

Marijuana-adjacent products—especially CBD (which doesn’t get you high)—have already gotten a nod of approval from big brands in unlikely industries that don’t want to miss the gold—err, green—rush. Corona’s parent company and Budweiser are betting on bud with big investments into experimental new beverages, while the makeup aisle has become a CBD playground, with even CVS starting to stock up on CBD personal care items like sprays and lotions.

But while swiping on vegan CBD mascara or sipping an infused latte has helped shed the drug’s stigma, direct consumption via smoking or dosing is just starting to get the image makeover it needs to go mainstream. And to combat the Harold & Kumar stereotype that’s plagued the casual weed consumer, a new crop of brands are going in the complete opposite direction by building their brand image around luxury and aspiration. The green stuff…


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Quote of the Day:  Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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