A new study from Culinary Visions, Chicago, examines consumers' knowledge, attitudes and preferences toward a variety of food and beverage products made with cannabis ingredients. The study finds that while younger consumers are significantly more interested in trying cannabis-infused goods, older consumers are still open to trying these products in a functional or medical context.

“For consumers over 55, the hesitation may be health-driven, but health concerns may be what ultimately convinces this demographic to give cannabis-infused products a shot," says Sharon Olson, executive director. "When it came to considering these products for medical reasons, consumers over 55 were more receptive, with a majority stating that they were interested in trying these products for the purpose of pain relief, anxiety treatment or as a sleep aid."

The research revealed a gap in interest in purchasing cannabis-infused food and beverage products between consumers ages 21-34 and consumers ages 55 and older, with consumers ages 35-54 bridging the middle. While 57% of those ages 21-34 said they were interested in consuming cannabis-infused products for recreational use, only 40% of those ages 35-54 and 27% of those ages 55 and older agreed with the same statement.

When asked to consider cannabis ingestion for medical use, however, consumers over 55 were much more willing to consume. Nearly 56% of those ages 35-54 and 51% of those 55 and older said they were interested in consuming cannabis-infused products for medical purposes. As for younger consumers ages 21-34, their already favorable outlook surged to 66%.

Baked goods such as brownies and cookies reigned supreme as the most popular cannabis-infused product among consumers of all ages.

The study also indicated that further educating consumers on the potential benefits of these products may be the best way to reach an expanded demographic, with 50% of all consumers agreeing that they would feel more comfortable buying cannabis-infused products if they could speak to a knowledgeable sales representative.

About the survey

The Culinary Visions Cannabis Products Project surveyed 2,000 consumers to anticipate product development trends and reveal insights on the future of cannabis in the food industry.