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New Study Examines Cannabis Opportunities in Foodservice

Cannabis-infused food

CHICAGO — As consumer interest in cannabis-infused products rises and regulations decline, foodservice operators are increasingly interested in how consumers want to buy and experience food and beverages that include cannabis ingredients.

A new study from Culinary Visions found that although more consumers would prefer to enjoy cannabis-infused food and beverages at home, there is still interest in ordering them at restaurants.

"The question on everyone's mind is what kind of menu items should they invest in creating and whether this is something consumers will be willing to order in restaurants," said Sharon Olson, executive director of Culinary Visions. "We found relatively comparable levels of interest in a culinary experience with multiple courses that include cannabis-infused products throughout as we did in on-the-go products from a convenience store."

The study found that 47 percent of consumers want food and beverages to primarily serve functional purposes, while 48 percent also expect them to taste good. Additionally, a segment of consumers gravitates toward the intersection of culinary adventures and fresh experiences offered by cannabis-infused gastronomy, with 37 percent of surveyed consumers reporting they would consider ordering a cannabis-infused menu item at a restaurant.

Consumers expressed interest in cannabis-infused products at a range of retail sites, from convenience stores to entertainment venues. However, interest varied based on gender, with just 34 percent of women saying they would consider ordering a cannabis-infused menu item at a restaurant compared to 45 percent of men.

Culinary Visions also found that when dining out most consumers prefer not to simultaneously consume cannabis-infused products. Its research found that this emerging product category is more likely to gain acceptance as part of an experiential dining experience in a full-service restaurant (36 percent) than in quick-service venues (26 percent).

Chicago-based Culinary Visions is a food-focused insights and trends forecasting practice that studies a wide range of culinary topics important to consumers and food industry professionals. Culinary Visions is a division and registered trademark of Olson Communications Inc.

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