Nielsen Predicts Legal Cannabis Sales In The U.S. To Reach $41 Billion By 2025

Cannabis was featured in Nielsen Company’s Total Consumer Report 2019, with the data and information company predicting the sales of cannabis consumer packaged goods to rise 5x that 2018’s sales. 

They forecast that the sales of all legalized cannabis products in the U.S. could reach $41 billion by 2025. This includes all products manufactured from the marijuana plant and the hemp plant and all compounds derived from cannabis sativa. 

This was just one tidbit of information revealed in the report and the accompanying analysis entitled “Brace for Impact: CPG Cannabis Sales to Rise by the Billions”. Through these reports, Nielsen gave some interesting insights into the cannabis market and “cannabis-interested” consumers, especially when comparing how the industry has evolved from 2014, when cannabis was legal only across two states, to 2018, when legalization has become more widespread. 

During this time period, as more types of product and methods of consumption became available, people’s tastes in how they were consuming became more diverse. In 2014, 77% of legal consumers were buying flower, compared to 48% of sales being attributed to flower in 2018. Vapor pen sales rose from 4% to 19% over this time period. Edibles remained relatively stagnant with a respective 9% and 11% of sales in 2014 and 2018. “Other formats”, like capsules, beverages, topicals, and tinctures rose from 10% to 22%. 

There has also been a significant brand explosion over the last 4 years that can’t be ignored. In 2014, only 166 cannabis brands existed, compared to the 2650 that now make up the cannabis industry’s brand roster, growing 7x in 4 years.

Not only did Nielsen dig into consumer data to attempt to predict the future of the cannabis industry, but they also released some interesting data-based insights on the average “cannabis-interested” U.S. citizen:

  • They are 2x more likely to have tobacco products in their household, with cannabis-interested adults making up 65% of the population who is trying to quit smoking. 41% of which would consider using cannabis for smoking cessation;
  • They are 41% more likely to drink beer, with 1 in 5 cannabis consumers saying they spend less on store-bought beer as a result of consuming cannabis;
  • They are 36% more likely to have neck and back pain, with 65% of cannabis-interested consumers using over the counter pain medications to manage pain, and 35% of that group considering using cannabis as a replacement to these OTC medications;

Nielsen is a worldwide data and information global research firm that provides marketers reliable and objective information on marketing and sales program. Most widely known for the “Nielsen Ratings”, an audience measurement system, Nielsen also provides data and information for demographics, CPG and retail, and markets and finances. 

Anne-Marie Fischer

Anne-Marie Fischer

Anne-Marie Fischer is a cannabis educator and writer, engaged with cannabis brands and organizations across the globe. After serving the United States and global cannabis industries, she has recently returned home to Canada to serve the legal cannabis industry with education and engaging content.


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