The National Restaurant Association surveyed professional chefs on what they considered to be the hottest drink and food trends. The 650 members of the American Culinary Federation took part in the annual What’s Hot Culinary Survey and ranked 140 different trends as hot, yesterday’s news, or perennial favorite. Cannabis/CBD-infused drinks ranked the hottest trend of the year and cannabis/CBD-infused food as the second-hottest trend.
According to the report, nearly 77 percent of the chefs ranked drinks as the No. 1 trend, and 76 percent of them ranked food as the second most popular. As quoted from the report, https://restaurant.org/research/reports/foodtrends “Chefs who participated in the survey said infusing foods with the ingredients could create unique cuisine opportunities and potential new markets for experiential dining occasions.”
One restaurant and craft bar with locations throughout South Florida, Tap 42, has incorporated the trend offering cocktails such as Gin ‘N Chronic made with Tanqueray gin, tonic syrup, sage, orange, peppercorns and CBD-infused butterfly pea tea. The Hangover Cure Shot combines Absolut vodka, lemon, peach, and CBD-infused butterfly pea tea.
“Infusions bring versatility to the art of mixology by allowing multiple and more pronounced flavors than a standalone ingredient. As I craft a cocktail, I have the ability to use these infused flavors without slowing down my method,” says Paige Nast, Corporate Beverage Director of Tap 42. “Within the next few years, I expect this trend to continue using new cutting edge and exciting ingredients like we are seeing with CBD oil.”
Ironically, only medicinal cannabis is legal in Florida, and the legal status of CBD depends on the source where it is derived. Hemp is federally legal but the year’s top two trends (especially if not derived from hemp) remain illegal in many jurisdictions as well as federally. The Food and Drug Administration prohibits adding CBD to food and beverages, but the agency will hold its first public hearing in May to decide how it will regulate CBD.
The National Restaurant Association has stated, “Operators are urged to follow all laws, including applicable federal, state and local laws that apply when selling or using those items at their restaurants.”
Questex’s 34th annual Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show set records during its 2019 convention held in Las Vegas. On the exhibit floor, among the thousands of products spanning all facets of the industry, new exhibitors included Cannabiniers/Two Roots Brewing with the world’s first de-alcoholized cannabis-infused craft beer.
Intense competition and changing tastes stimulate change. Carl’s Jr., ranked No. 23 out of 50 choices according to QRS magazine, tested CBD-infused burger at one of its Denver locations on National Weed Day (April 20). Carl’s Jr. became the first national fast food chain to add CBD-infused food to its menu. The Rocky Mountain High CheeseBurger Delight, priced at $4.20, is made with two beef patties, pickled jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, waffle fries and about 5 milligrams of hemp-derived CBD extract in the burger chain’s Santa Fe Sauce.
However, the New York City Department of Health has stated that restaurants, bars, and other venues located in its jurisdiction cannot sell CBD-infused food or drink. Although CBD can legally be sold, DOH is not allowing sales of any food or beverages infused with CBD, following rules from the Food and Drug Administration.
“Restaurants in New York City are not permitted to add anything to food or drink that is not approved as safe to eat,” a statement from a New York DOH spokesperson says. “The Health Department takes seriously its responsibility to protect New Yorkers’ health. Until cannabidiol (CBD) is deemed safe as a food additive, the department is ordering restaurants not to offer products containing CBD.”