Monday, December 6, 2021

Technomic: Gen Z & Millennials Prefer Marijuana over Alcoholic Beverages


There is no doubt that living in a state (WA) that has legalized the use of marijuana our views on the use of cannabis have evolved.  There seems to be a cannabis store on every block, some look like over priced jewelry stores others like an exclusive boutique.  On the other hand, there are those that look and feel like you would have wanted them too when ‘we’ were in college back in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

Somehow the team at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® believes that our own Grocerant Guru® at times would, could, and should visit one of those that look like that bygone era. All kidding aside the fact is in the State of Washington the tax revenue from cannabis now exceeds that from alcohol. Yes, times they are changing.

Let’s look at some of the findings in Technomic’s survey of 2,000 consumers aged 21-plus, half of them Gen Z, and half millennials. So, where we go:

In 2021, 35 million Gen Zers are currently of legal drinking age (21 to 28), and ten years from now, that number will rise 85 million. But cannabis is as much a draw as beer, wine and cocktails.

In states where recreational cannabis products are legal, 65% of Gen Z survey respondents smoke marijuana and 51% consume cannabis-infused beverages, Technomic reported in its Adult Beverage Planning Program.

Most of this consumption takes place at home, but 38% of Gen Zers would visit a marijuana lounge or club to partake of the products. Visiting a bar or restaurant for a drink and/or food edges out that number at 41%, but the margin is thin.

In a Battle for Share of Stomach

What are you Selling?

The majority of millennials (65%), the next generation up, is more likely to patronize bars and restaurants, as these establishments are an important part of how they socialize, according to the survey. But that socialization benefit drops to 58% for the younger crowd.

Even as the rest of Gen Z reaches legal drinking age, they may be looking for different experiences when they go out. At casual-dining restaurants, a relaxed atmosphere and the price of the drinks are top considerations, with sanitation standards coming in third. And they are more likely to choose beer, cocktails and mixed drinks over wine.

Younger consumers also seem to be more spontaneous, meeting friends or family for informal get-togethers, Technomic found. Drink specials and promotions can be a competitive advantage—giving Gen Z a reason to leave the couch and gather in a bar or restaurant.

Now here is our take.  It’s time that restaurants embrace partnerships with cannabis retail manufactures.  That includes food manufactures, beverage manufactures, and cannabis non-consumable gift manufactures.  After all, grocerant niche mix & match meal component bundling is inclusive not exclusive.

 For more from on this Technomic Report or other Technomic reports visit:

Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom-line profits. Are you looking a customer ahead? Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.

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