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Media 丨 2022.02.22

The Young and the Smokeless: Gen Z and Cannabis Vaporizers

With all the cultural discussions surrounding Millennials and Boomers, it is easy to forget that the next generation of consumers is up-and-coming. Generation Z, or Gen Z, follows Millennials (or Gen Y, as they were previously called), and they are already setting trends and influencing the market in unique ways. When it comes to cannabis and vaping, this generation is more familiar and more comfortable with exploration than ever. We will look at just who Gen Z is and what they like to understand them better and shape our future products to cater to this emerging market.

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Who is Gen Z?


While the exact boundaries of the generation are not set in stone, in 2019, the Pew Research Center defined the term as referring to those 7-22 years of age. This means people born between 1997 to 2012 (Millennials were born between 1981 to 1996, while Gen X were born between 1965-1980). As of 2021, Gen Z comprises 65 million people, representing 40% of US consumers and an estimated $44 billion in buying power. Globally, the Gen Z population has reached over 2.5 billion people, and it is predicted that by 2030, 30% of the global workforce will be Gen Z.


Only 52% of Gen Z are non-Hispanic whites in the US, making them the most racially diverse generation yet. They are also the most educated, with 59% of the cohort expected to pursue tertiary education (as opposed to 53% of Millennials, for example). Gen Z is vastly more technologically savvy and digitally connected than its predecessors. 98% of them own a smartphone, with 55% using their phones for five or more hours daily and 59% unable to go a day without texting. They also care about the environment, and almost half state they prefer eco-friendly and socially responsible products.



Gen Z, Cannabis, and Vaping


When it comes to cannabis and vaping, Gen Z has been exhibiting trends that differ from the preceding generations. Most notably, the generation was born into a much more cannabis-friendly world, with legalization for medical use occurring in 1996. Now that cannabis is becoming more mainstream and increasingly legalized for recreational use, the stigma discouraged older consumers from consuming has significantly been reduced. Gen Z is twice as likely to use cannabis than the national average and was the fastest-growing segment of cannabis consumers during the pandemic in the US. This is unsurprising considering that, according to Bloomberg, younger Americans view marijuana as a healthier option for recreational use compared to alcohol. However, one interesting trend is that according to one cannabis analytics firm, year-over-year sales for Gen Z women grew the fastest in 2020, at 151 percent. In comparison, sales among Gen Z men grew at 118 percent, which means female consumers are likely to edge out their male counterparts in future consumption.


The existence of vaporizers, including weed pens, contribute to the normalization of cannabis use among Gen Z. A survey conducted this year revealed that 18% of Gen Z vapes either tobacco or cannabis daily, overtaking their Millennial counterparts at 17%. They are also the only generation who prefers vaping to smoking, with just 17% of the demographic reporting daily smoking. It seems younger consumers who have rejected cigarettes in favor e-cigarettes transfer that preference to cannabis. They now dominate the vaping market, with the aforementioned firm saying that 27.1% of Gen Z have had vaporizer-related products as their largest basket share in dispensaries, compared to 20% of Millennials. In fact, 31% of their check-out baskets include something from the concentrates category, compared to 23% of other cohorts.

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Tailoring Cannabis Vape Products for the Gen Z Market


Merely knowing that Gen Z likes their cannabis vaporizers is not as useful, however, as knowing just what kind of cannabis vape products they prefer. While there is no one-stop-shop for data on Gen Z’s cannabis vape inclinations, an analysis of recent research and articles on Gen Z reveals the following:


CBD Products: Use and satisfaction with CBD products are greatest among of-age Gen Z (23%), compared to less than 20% for Millennials. This is likely to relate to survey results revealing that Gen Z experiences more worry and stress in the US than other generations. They have also stated that their primary motivator for consuming any cannabis product is to relax, which CBD products would provide. Cilicon’ range of vaporizers and cartridges is well-suited for CBD-minded Gen Z consumers.


Sophisticated Design and Packaging: According to research by Accenture, Gen Z consumers look for aesthetics more than anything else when purchasing a product. 67% of Gen Z believe fashionable design matters more than any other generation. This similarly translates to cannabis vaporizers, where the new trend is sleek, colorful, and tasteful designs that wouldn’t look out of place at an upscale department store. This is, of course, a strategy that Cilicon is familiar with, as we strive to make our products more stylish for fashion-minded young consumers. Female Gen Z consumers, in particular, want something more discreet, which Cilicon can undoubtedly provide with our wide selection of compact vaporizers through the customizing platform of Cilicon Designed.


Ethical and Sustainable Products: As stated above, Gen Z prefers eco-friendly and socially responsible products, which is likely to apply to cannabis products. One possible strategy to capture the market is to emphasize the health and safety of cannabis vaporizer products enabled by the latest technological innovations.


Customization and Personalization: According to one research by McKinsey, Gen Z has shown to be more focused on individual truths and expression than previous generations. This translates to their consumption preferences, as almost two-thirds of Gen Z consumers report that they’d like brands to offer more personalized products and experiences. Such adaptability and customizability have been essential features of Cilicon brand services, as we aspire to be able to convey each consumer’s unique identity.

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Cilicon and Gen Z Market Update


Cilicon never intends to stop serving the cannabis vapers' desired in each generation to deliver a jaw-dropping vaping journey to every cannabis vaper across the world. As more and more of Gen Z come of age, join the workforce, and have disposable income, they will represent an increasingly prominent market segment. Cannabis vaporizers that are well-designed, safe and healthy, tailored to each individual, and CBD-friendly are likely to be a hit with this crowd. Now is the time to start thinking about how cannabis vaporizers can complement the lifestyle of these young, digitally-connected, individually-focused, socially-conscious consumers. Cilicon research and development team work tirelessly with the marketing team to collect sufficient data from inventing cannabis atomizers that match the taste and style of Gen Z and release the breakthrough products to fellow cannabis vaporizers distributors and wholesalers. We must support our cannabis vaporizers distributors and wholesalers to create a blissful and fearless market in the cannabis industry without hesitation. Hence, it is never too late to join the Cilicon Partnership Program (CPP) to stay updated in the cannabis atomizer market with our OEM and ODM services that bring you ample spectacular cannabis vaping devices.