With the legal cannabis market expanding across America state-by-state, and producers increasingly putting out new and unique products, will this new industry one day rival craft beer?
After all, the same broad set of consumers typically dip into both categories: laid-back, fun-loving, brand-disloyal millennials. So will the cannabis industry grow, prosper and diversify in the same way as craft beer?
The former chief marketing officer for Budweiser believes so. That would be Chris Burggraeve, who is investing heavily in the cannabis industry, according to a Chicago Tribune piece.
“The same way that craft beer started and, for the longest time, was ignored and then exploded, there’s no reason why the same thing wouldn’t happen in this space,” Burggraeve said in the Tribune article, commenting on cannabis. “There will be part supplementing and part complementing. The jury is out on how and where that will happen.”
“This is one of the fastest-growing categories globally,” he added in the article. “Why? Because people want it. When consumers want something, you ignore it at your peril.”
This comes a month after the latest Gallup poll on recreational cannabis found that 64% of Americans now favor legalization.
Just as Big Beer paid for ignoring the emerging craft market for so long, how badly will the overall beer category suffer if it underestimates the growing appeal of cannabis? That remains to be seen.