CBD Infused Food, A Hot Trend This Year?

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More and more chefs are becoming open to the idea of preparing meals infused with CBD. This comes amid crackdowns from local regulators on restaurants in New York city which are experimenting with adding CBD in their menu.  Could CBD-infused dishes be the next big thing?

In a survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, it was found out that 77 percent of 650 professional chefs voted that CBD-infused drinks would be the Number 1 trend in 2019. CBD-infused foods could also follow suit. Participants of the said survey are all members of the American Culinary Federation.

Achieving zero wastage comes third in the possible trends in 2019. Restaurants opt to use natural ingredients and would like to promote a much improved, upscale takeout packaging.

A clean kitchen with zero wastage mainly takes into consideration the impact of restaurant cooking on the environment and aims to avoid wasted food thrown in landfills. This may also mean incorporating concepts of recycling.

Hudson Riehle, the Association’s Senior Vice President of Research said that zero-wastage cooking has been the topmost consideration among millenals and Gen Z customers who are most likely to visit restaurants that are eco-friendly.

“…So sustainability is high on their list. It’s also good for business. Not only is food waste reduction more cost-effective, but it also creates brand loyalty and helps protect the planet. It’s a big win for everyone,” he said.

Despite this trend of infusing CBD in restaurant drinks and meals, New York city’s health department initiated crackdowns ordering restaurants to stop adding CBD in food and drinks. The Los Angeles health department also made the same decision. This time, they will be conducting inspections on restaurants said to be serving CBD-infused food and drinks.

A different situation is happening Colorado and Washington, wherein marijuana is widely accepted and use of the drug for recreational purposes has been made legal. These states have, actually, supported private chefs who specialize in cannabis-infused food.

In Canada, Chef Travis Petersen reported that most of his diners are ‘canna-curious’ and are still ‘slightly nervous’ about the idea. Due to this, he has been using odorless cannabis oil. Still, he is open about his business and has been advertising his CBD-infused dinners on social media. He is also regularly hosting cannabis-infused dinners at Airbnb rentals.

“We’re the first country of chefs that can fully legally cook with it and experiment with it, and I’m really excited to start working with more flavors, tastes and smells,” Petersen said in an interview.

Canada legalized marijuana in 2018 but has not legalized CBD edibles yet until October this year.

Meanwhile, hemp-based food is also slowly taking the spotlight. In a report by Innova Market Insights, the number of food and beverage with hemp ingredients have taken a 34 percent annual growth. Currently, hemp products are being introduced in the US. It is said that cereal and energy bars took a 24 percent annual growth and was the top growing sub-category in the 2013-2017 US food and beverage list.

Some restaurants like Gabriella’s Kitchen (GK) included cannabis and hemp extracts in their products, which let them earn total gross proceeds of 6.2 million USD. Last year, GK started creating cannabis-and-hemp-infused products which are said to be ‘savory and nutritionally dense with THC.’

Meanwhile, Hudson Riehle, 65, the restaurant association’s senior research director, said that the survey’s results may not exactly reflect CBD’s place in restaurant menus. He said that CBD may just be a fad ‘that will fade into history like molecular gastronomy or meals served in mason jars.’