They are data points that will surprise no one and could be causative or not, but numbers from Nielsen suggest that the legalization of cannabis nationally is driving increased sales of snacks.
America already is a nation of snackers, Nielsen noted in a June article on the snacks-cannabis sales phenomena. “Within the U.S., Nielsen data shows that sales of both salty and sweet snacks have increased over the past 52 weeks (ending April 27, 2019) with salty snacks reaching sales of $29.9 billion and sweet snacks hitting sales of $6.5 billion,” stated the company. “But could the ‘munchies’ driven by marijuana use increase sales further?”
The answer appears to be yes. “Sales data from within the U.S. Census divisions where cannabis has been legalized for recreational use supports the munchies’ effect,” the article continued. “Nielsen data shows that growth rates for both candy and snacks are rising faster in these areas than in geographies where cannabis has yet to be legalized for recreational use.”
The provided graph does show increased rates of snack sales in adult use legal states, but only minimally compared with the overall national average—a little over 1 percent more total snacking growth in adult use legal states and about .7 percent more confectionery (candy) growth in adult use legal states—indicating that cannabis is either an added factor in greater consumer interest in snacking, or the “cannabis-effect” has begun to effect non-legal states.
Is this a trend the industry should take notice of and work to influence in terms of promoting healthier snacking among patients and customers?
Should retailers start stocking more snacks, infused or otherwise, to meet what appears to be growing demand?
And how long before Big Snack enters the cannabis space for real?
What have you snacked on lately?
Image: Still-Life with Fruit, Nuts and Cheese by Floris van Dijck