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Who is the CBD customer?

“Health ailments without a ‘one-size-fits-all treatment’ are quite common and avoiding chemicals when it comes it health and self-care is important across all age groups. CBD sales and projections show consumers are turning to CBD for help, and demand is growing rapidly” 

– Colin Stewart, Senior Vice President, Business Intelligence at Acosta 

This September 2019, sales and marketing giant Acosta published thorough research into who exactly is today’s CBD consumer, and what this says about the rapidly growing industry landscape. The CBD industry is predicted to reach $20 billion by the year 2024; but who exactly are the key players in this booming economy.

Coming in at over a quarter, 28% of CBD customers stated that they take it either on an as-needed basis or a daily basis. The conditions and ailments most commonly cited for CBD use are anxiousness, muscle aches and pains, general wellness, headaches, and trouble sleeping.

The demographic of the users is slightly weighted towards women at 52%, versus the 48% constituted by men. Of all users, 56% are millennials – a generational group which tend to cite stress and millennial burnout due to their non-stop lifestyle as a reason for incorporate CBD into their daily life. There’s a misconception that the CBD user is largely uneducated, but this can be dispelled with the statistic of 49% of users being college educated with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Whilst millennials express that stress and burnout are their primary motivations for involving CBD in their lives, gen Xs and baby boomers, who are also significant users, take the compound for different reasons. Around a third said that they took CBD due to joint discomfort, whilst around a quarter said they used it for muscle discomfort.

Amidst this analysis of who is taking CBD, companies might be curious to know who is not taking CBD, or perhaps why people are deterred from taking CBD. Lucky for them, Acosta’s research provided the answers. For consumers who have not tried CBD, they quoted three top reasons for their choice: the price point, insufficient published research, and distrust in the product claims. 

However, out of those who are open to trying CBD 13% found that the lack of regulation was a factor holding them back. Rules and regulations around CBD are constantly changing, for example the US farm bill (making hemp legal) was only passed in late 2018, and this can be confusing for consumers. The regulatory framework has knock-on effects such as how the products are labelled and also the amount of finance and interest which is invested into scientific research on the medical benefits of CBD products.

The report The CBD Effect: A Rapidly Emerging Consumer Trend, was compiled by Acosta using industry data, a shopper survey from July 2019, and data from internal experts BDS Analytics.

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