Faith Popcorn is a best-selling author, CEO, futurist, and highly successful prognosticator who has predicted some of the most influential and profitable trends in modern history. Fortune 500 companies like Coca-Cola, General Electric, IBM, Nike, and Procter & Gamble have looked to Popcorn for strategic insight. In this month’s Food & Drink International Magazine, Popcorn makes her latest prediction over what she feels is the next big market disruptor — cannabis.
From Popcorn’s perspective, leaders in the food and beverage industry are too busy “tinkering” with their current offerings and, as a result, ignoring the legal marijuana sector as a path to huge profits. She cited the catalysts for her outlook include the eight states that legalized marijuana last November.
Further to the progress in November, a CBS poll in April showed that 61 percent of Americans favor full legalization and 88 percent agreed that medical cannabis should be legal.
The reinforcement coming from the younger generation — 71 percent of millennials supported legalization in the CBS poll — is not just a case of normalization taking effect. The American Psychological Association says anxiety and stress in society today is most prevalent for this generation. Popcorn added that millennials are highly interested in natural, earthy products, and would rather ingest a plant over a pill for health-related issues.
Further proof in the Popcorn prediction comes with the growing trend of top chefs who are hosting invitation-only "Dope Dinners" as she puts it. Popcorn also discussed the emergence of cannabis advertising agencies in Los Angeles and elsewhere, which normalize the product and force Fortune 500 companies to explore possibilities in the cannabis space.
Popcorn levelled out her enthusiasm for pot by adding that it will be some time before we see a product from “someone like Kraft that’s spiked with THC,” due to the fact that the plant is still illegal at the federal level in the United States. She added, however, that “it’s coming.”
Popcorn’s final advice to corporate America is to mobilize as soon as possible. Early on in the 1980s, she predicted the huge bottled water trend and advised Coca-Cola to get involved. Popcorn added that many companies took their time on the water prediction and almost missed the boat.
Regardless of whether North America’s biggest companies will heed Popcorn’s sage advice, the endorsement of cannabis in and of itself is an important step in the fight to end marijuana prohibition in the United States.