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Top Cannabis Occasions

Take advantage of occasion-based marketing to grow your brand and increase sales. A new Brightfield Group report explores popular occasions of cannabis use during the pandemic and the occasion-based marketing opportunities brands have.

What is occasion-based marketing?

Brightfield describes occasion-based marketing as focusing on when and where consumers are using your product. You can develop a strong customer relationship by aligning your messaging with what your consumers are doing while using the product.

While cannabis can be used every part of the day and fit into many occasions, it can also be positioned and marketed to very different people for very different purposes.

Demographic Changes

Over the past two years, there has been a shift towards younger cannabis consumers and a more equal gender balance. According to a recent Headset report, in the past year, Generation Z customers have become the fastest-growing demographic, specifically females.

Brightfield says compared to Q1 in 2020, in Q3 there were more highly educated and high income cannabis consumers, as well as an increase in white consumers in the United States.

Top Cannabis Occasions

The top three occasions of cannabis use are relaxing at home, right before bed, and hanging out with friends at home.

Consumers are also using cannabis during more occasions. Prior to the pandemic, no occasion of use was reported by over half of consumers. Now, six occasions of use are reported by over half of cannabis consumers.

Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 has greatly impacted consumption patterns and the number of people purchasing cannabis in Canada – from increasing active participation and sales to changing the reasons of consumption.

Brightfield notes that consumers have used cannabis to deal with the stress of the pandemic, cannabis use has also moved to the most mundane activities. The occasion of cannabis use that saw the biggest increase in 2021 was while enjoying an everyday meal. From 21% in Q1 to 46% in Q3, using cannabis at mealtime is now as popular as “relaxing at home” was in Q1.

Occasion Opportunities

While all occasions of use increased, Brightfield says the biggest occasion-based marketing opportunities for brands are the ‘Nightly Stoner’ and the ‘CannaGamer.’

Cannabis use right before bed nearly doubled in 2020, increasing from 38% in Q1 to 72% in Q3. At the same time, fewer cannabis consumers report using for insomnia – 15% in Q3 compared to 19% in Q1. Brightfield suggests consumers using right before bed aren’t necessarily doing so because they have to, but because they can.

Cannabis use before or while playing video games increased 86% from Q1 to Q3. In Q3, 54% of consumers enjoyed cannabis during this occasion. Nearly all products positioned for video games are inhalables – vapes, flower, and concentrate, with vapes taking up the majority of the market share.

In the United States, over half of CannaGamers are married, and another 61% have children, a 30% increase from Q1 to Q3. The gender balance skews more male and the number of highly-educated and high-income CannaGamers is rising.

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