Peek into trends at TO expo

Published on June 7, 2019 by David Wylie

Cannabis insights and connections abound in Toronto this weekend.

Lift & Co.’s Toronto 2019 Expo kicked off Thursday with a peek at emerging trends during a talk titled ‘Forecasting Canada: An Early Look into Consumer Profiles.”

“Cannabis having been illegal for nearly 100 years here in Canada and much of the world, it doesn’t have a historic data point,” said Lift & Co. CEO Matei Olaru. “But this is how the industry will mature: pointed, strategic thinking that pulls in data from a number of sources, and really paints an accurate picture of what will be an incredibly lucrative, incredibly massive, incredibly global industry.”

Data was gleaned from Lift & Co.’s product review platform and Headset’s consumer trends from legal markets in the United States, provided an in-depth look into consumer behaviour.

The highlights

  • The main recreational cannabis consumer continues to be millennial-aged males, who consider themselves to be connoisseurs. This segment is responsible for 43 per cent of current legal market spend.
  • Distinct consumer segments are emerging, not only cutting across age, gender and region but also consumer experience level, and desired outcomes of consumption.
  • Another emerging segment is the “canna-curious,” a new consumer more likely to be female and over the age of 45. They are more interested in low THC or CBD-only products and are willing to spend more per shopping trip ($107 on average) and more per item ($24 on average).
  • With the Ontario government expected to announce 50 new retail store licenses in the next few days, it was notable that Ontario is currently lagging behind other provinces for cannabis consumption as a percentage of population. This is likely due to the challenges consumers face finding places to purchase.

The conference runs through Sunday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and features more than 250 exhibitors and more than 100 speakers.

Photo: Lift & Co. from their 2018 Toronto Expo