The purchasing patterns of Gen Z consumers on 4/20

May 11, 2022

The cannabis industry is constantly changing. One big reason is that there is a new generation of consumers who are aging into the market everyday. These Gen Z consumers are quickly embracing the cannabis space and are making decisions that have significant impacts to the trajectory and trends that we see in the industry. Below, we take a close look at how this age group enjoyed 4/20/22 by examining their sales growth, basket sizes, and product category preferences during the holiday.

Growth of Gen Z customers on 4/20

Gen Z cannabis consumer trends on 420 image 1: Sales growth of Gen Z consumers

When it comes to 4/20, Gen Z consumers appear to be the most engaged cohort of customers. Both this year and previously in 2021, the Gen Z age group had by far the largest relative sales increase on 4/20 when compared to the average of the previous four same weekdays (Wednesdays in 2022 and Tuesdays in 2021).

The sales lift in 2022 was higher across the board, but Gen Z customers increased their average daily spend by more than 3x in comparison to the previous four Wednesdays. This sales growth is unprecedented, even for the biggest cannabis holiday of the year. The growth was driven mostly, but not entirely, by a 138% increase in total transaction volume. Let’s look at what else contributed to Gen Z’s zooming growth on 4/20 next.

Basket sizes of Gen Z customers

Gen Z cannabis consumer trends on 420 image 2: How much are Gen Z consumers spending on cannabis

Here we can see the changes in average basket size as well as average item price for Male and Female Gen Z customers on 4/20 compared to the previous four Wednesdays this year. Average basket sizes increased significantly for both genders, rising 25% among Female customers and 35% among Male customers.

With higher basket sizes but lower individual item prices, we can conclude that Gen Z customers purchased significantly more items per basket on 4/20 than in previous weeks. Female Gen Z baskets rose from 2.1 to 3.4 items (+60%) and Male Gen Z baskets increased from 2.0 to 3.3 items (+66%).

Which cannabis products are Gen Z consumers purchasing?

Gen Z cannabis consumer trends on 420 image 3: Which cannabis products are they purchasing

Finally, let’s look at which categories Gen Z customers chose more than usual when purchasing cannabis on 4/20 this year. This graph shows the relative sales growth of product categories on 4/20 among Gen Z customers.

Here we can see that Beverages had the largest rise in sales to Gen Z customers on 4/20, with sales increasing more than five times the average daily sales across the previous four Wednesdays. Edibles and Pre-Rolls also performed particularly well with Gen Z customers on the holiday. Vapor Pens on the other hand, had the lowest sales response, well below the total age group average (+212%). This may be surprising given Gen Z customers have the highest wallet share to this category on any given day in most US markets. This may show that Gen Z customers were not focused on stocking up on their usual products on 4/20, but instead indulging in other products to enjoy on the holiday.

As a big day of sales, it’s important to look back on 4/20 to learn about consumer behavior so that cannabis retailers can find ways to bring these consumers back long after the holiday is over. Gen Z consumers present a unique opportunity in the industry as this group continues to grow and evolve over time. If you’d like to learn more about your customer demographics, sign up for a demo.