Cannabis consumers are not a uniform group. People who enjoy cannabis daily have diverse lives with varying habits, desires, and lifestyles, so selling cannabis to a single “stoner” doesn’t work in 2023.
Instead, segmenting the cannabis consumer into personas can help marketers and innovators better focus on current and potential customers. Exploring specific segments of cannabis consumers can also help judge how big an opportunity they are.
In this blog, we’ll explore how brands in the space can use data to craft products for the biggest persona in 2023 – the “Wake & Bakes.” This large group of personas deeply incorporates cannabis into their lives, presenting an opportunity for brands to find out where they can fit within each part of the day.
Personas in the Data
Brightfield Group’s consumer insights portals include the ability to craft cannabis personas based on demographics, geography, usage, and more. Or, the view data for nine pre-determined personas including “Stressed Out Millennials,” “Aging Ailers,” and “Newbies.”
What are Wake & Bakes?
This group is named after the activity of waking up and enjoying cannabis known as “wake and bake.” This persona group uses cannabis multiple times daily, including right after waking up. Those using when waking up have a high likelihood of using at all other occasions, showing us a consumer who has deeply integrated cannabis into their life.
The Opportunity of Wake & Bakes
Brightfield Group cannabis market research shows the Wake & Bake persona represents 40% of US cannabis users. Two years ago, in Q1 2020, only 18% of respondents fell into the Wake & Bake persona. The continuous rise of multiple times daily cannabis use during the pandemic from Q2 2020 onward included many deciding to start their daily cannabis use in the morning. While one may think this habit would end when stay-at-home orders did, the consumer data has yet to show a significant decline.
Source: Brightfield Group; US Cannabis Consumer Insights
Size and stability aren’t the only things making this group an attractive target customer. They also spend more monthly. 44% of Wake & Bakes in 2022 reported a monthly spend of over $250. Users in this persona also spend more per product, likely buying bigger pack sizes. After all, those who toke more often need to buy more.
With increased use also comes ample opportunities to try different product types – and the data shows they take it! Nearly all of them – 94% - use cannabis flower or pre-rolls while at the same time, 61% use vapes and 55% use gummies.
Creating Products for the Wake & Bake
Your brand knows it wants to target this persona - but what does that actually look like? Use these steps to start thinking about how your product can fit into the life of a Wake & Bake.1. Know Their Product Usage
One particularly important piece of consumer data is product usage. Cannabis brands do not usually offer every single product type, so knowing the viability of your offerings among target audiences is crucial.
For the Wake & Bakes, flower and pre-rolls are the most-used product types, followed by vapes and gummies. Because they enjoy a wider variety of products, a larger assortment of brands can target them. However, there are some product types this persona does not have a particular affinity for.
One of the product types Wake & Bakes are least likely to choose is mints, lozenges, & sublingual strips. Only 9% of this persona reports using this product type - the only type with less use being savory snacks (which are hard to find). THC mints brands would be wise to find other personas with a greater likelihood of buying their offering.
2. Know Who They Are
Stereotypes about heavy cannabis-using “stoners” are not representative of modern weed smokers in 2023. The Wake & Bakes persona makes up such a large portion of the cannabis consumer population, so even within the same group, there will be varying ways of life.
If your assumption is that daily cannabis use is dominated by college-aged Gen Z, think again. Looking to the data, 46% of U.S. Wake & Bakes are 30-44 years old, falling into the millennial generation. Additionally, a majority of them have children, with 45% of all Wake & Bakes reporting children living with them in the house.
These two very basic pieces of demographic data give color to the Wake & Bakes beyond being heavy cannabis users. Knowing a significant portion of them are parents, how can brands cater to their specific needs?
3. Know What They Do & Why
Continuing deeper, consumer data allows businesses to see how cannabis is fitting into their lives. We can see what occasions (besides in the morning) Wake & Bake parents enjoy cannabis or how their alcohol use has changed since cannabis legalization in their state.
Purchase influences are another key feature of consumer data. While sales data can show us what they bought, it’s difficult to get to the why. With consumer insights, we ask them why. There are so many nuances to consumer decision making, from previous experience with the product to whether the budtender recommended it.
For example, while the narrative of price compression continues in U.S. cannabis, the data shows only about half of consumers indicate “price” is a top purchase attribute. Digging into consumer insights allows businesses to find those consumers who don’t list price as a top purchase influence and target an audience that will love it for attributes other than its impact on their wallets.
Brightfield Group’s consumer insights allows brands can paint a detailed picture of who they’re targetting. With that person in mind, businesses can craft creative and desirable products that Wake & Bakes can’t wait to grab on shelf or add to cart.