McDonald's Is Winning With the Cannabis Consumer

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Cannabis is penetrating into the food industry one way or another.

Fine-dine cooking with marijuana is a topic Foodable recently touched on in an interview with one of the top cannabis chefs in America— Chef Jeff, dubbed the “Julia Child of Weed.”

But as the cannabis business continues to grow at a rapid pace, more researchers analyze how and in what ways is the multi-billion dollar industry impacting the economy. One way to do so is by monitoring cannabis users’ consumer habits.

Fast-food is the sector analyzed in a recent report that is part of a series of research market snapshots called “Cannabis Freakonomics.”

The study, which was conducted by Green Market Report and Consumer Research Around Cannabis, found that 43 percent of legal-marijuana users ate at a McDonald’s restaurant, while 18 percent ate at Taco Bell, and 17.8 percent at Wendy’s.

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“McDonald’s wins by virtue of the sheer number of locations – by default really,” said Jeff Stein, Vice President of Consumer Research Around Cannabis. “Those competitors which better understanding cannabis users and their consumer habits can certainly close the gap by integrating what they learn through their marketing efforts.”

The target group for the study were adults who had purchased cannabis from a legally authorized retailer or dispensary and had visited fast-food places in the past four weeks from participating in the survey.

The target markets were Denver, Co., Las Vegas, Nev., Portland, Ore., Sacramento, Ca., and Washington D.C. All cities with a base population of 55 million. Other brands were also analyzed in the report.

This report begs the question, how can smaller fast-food and fast casual brands better cater to the cannabis consumer?

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