Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
- Nielsen is getting into marijuana.
- The market research firm will partner with Headset, a cannabis analytics startup, to provide insights to consumer companies strategizing about how to ride the upside of the cannabis craze.
Nielsen is getting into the cannabis industry.
The market research firm is partnering with Headset, a cannabis analytics startup, to provide insight into the brand-new industry for the world’s largest consumer packaged goods companies — many of whom are angling to take a bite.
"This is a noteworthy time to enter the legal cannabis measurement space," said Jeanne Danubio, Nielsen’s North America president. "We strongly believe that Headset is the right partner to complement our services, as we commence in our commitment to provide a complete view into the important legal U.S. cannabis market for our CPG clients."
In recent months, big CPG companies have either pursued joint ventures or taken equity stakes in a number of cannabis companies as the size of the opportunity has become clear. Marijuana could become a $194 billion industry over the next six years, according to the Bank of Montreal,
Last year, Constellation Brands, the beer maker behind brands like Corona and Modelo, paid $4 billion for a 38% stake in the Canadian cultivator Canopy Growth, setting off a wave of tie-ups between consumer giants and cannabis companies.
Molson Coors also entered a joint venture with Hexo, a smaller Canadian marijuana producer, to produce marijuana-infused beverages for the Canadian market. (Canada federally legalized marijuana in October).
And not to be outdone, Altria, the tobacco giant behind the popular Marlboro brand, paid $1.8 billion for a 45% stake of Canadian marijuana cultivator Cronos Group in December.
Headset, for its part, closed a $12.1 million venture funding round in January.
"We’re getting a lot of interest right now from consumer-packaged-goods industry companies like beverage-and-alcohol, tobacco, pharma, and even financial services who are all interested in the cannabis industry," the startup’s CEO, Cy Scott, told Business Insider in an interview earlier this year.
"A lot of brands are vying to be the Johnnie Walker or the Smirnoff of marijuana that’s going to be around for years to come," said Scott.
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