Baum and Whiteman are popular consultants for the food and restaurant industry, and they recently came out with their top trends for 2019. Among them, as you may have guessed, is the introduction of cannabis into restaurants.
They point to the mainstreaming of cannabis as to why it’s inevitable we’ll see it across restaurants, but see cannabidiol (CBD) as being the preferred ingredient rather than the potent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
While drinks are the easy option to infuse CBD into, the report notes that chefs are experimenting with CBD in dinner items as well. Juices, teas and syrups are just a few examples of what consumers might expect to see on menus in states where CBD is permitted.
In New York, there’s a vegan chain that has CBD frosting on a “Mary Jane” cake. If you’re not convinced that marijuana in restaurants is going to take off, have a quick look on Amazon and search for “cannabis cooking” and you’ll find more than 400 results. People are looking for creative ways to add cannabis into everyday foods.
While candy and chocolate might be some of the most popular options, there are more conventional recipes that are being infused with cannabis as well, such as pasta and other dishes.
The sky’s the limit as to what cannabis could potentially be baked or infused into, and that makes it a very interesting option for consumers to see what tastes good and what doesn’t. While we’re still in the early stages of the cannabis industry, we’ll know soon just how popular cannabis is in restaurants and whether it could be the next big thing for the industry. If it takes off, it could unleash even more growth for the cannabis industry.
Not only will cannabis companies need to supply retailers and customers directly, but they could be acting as suppliers to restaurant chains as well. There’s a lot of growth potential in the edibles segment as we’re starting to see, and it makes it all the more disappointing that Canada seems to have missed the boat on this one.
We’re in a very odd situation where edibles are legalized in some U.S. states but are not able to cross state line, which makes growth very difficult and it keeps many big companies on the sidelines. Meanwhile, in Canada, companies can transport pot, but it does nothing to help the edibles market as that segment of the industry is still illegal, until at least next year.
It makes the situation a frustrating one because it means it’ll take even longer for us to see just how strong cannabis will do in the edibles market, particularly in restaurants. Nonetheless, it’s a great opportunity for the industry to find yet another way to grow. At this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a cannabis cooking channel take off at some point.
The popularity of cannabis is growing at a rapid pace and while we may be starting to see the effects of legalization in the industry, we may only be scratching the surface when it comes to how big the industry might end up becoming.