Cannabis edibles cracked the list of top 10 food trends predicted for this year by a panel of experts writing for the Specialty Food Association.
Marijuana edibles sits at eight on the list, amid other predicted trends such as:
- Plant-based food, including algae as a meat substitute
- Filipino cuisine
- Goth food, such as activated charcoal (heating coconut shells until they are carbonized)
- Shakshuka, grilled haloumi and other Middle Eastern foods that go beyond the now-ubiquitous hummus, pita and falafel
Cannabis edibles have a bright future as the panel of experts predicted “continued interest and acceptance in a host of snacks, treats and beverages with a little something extra.” That next trip to Trader Joe’s could become a lot more interesting.
The effects of marijuana edibles tend to be stronger and longer lasting than smoking weed, which caused problems in early days with novice cannabis users. In its 2017 State of Cannabis report released earlier this year, California marijuana delivery company Eaze reported that edible sales have increased as more people learn best practices for proper dosing.
Eaze, using information from a database of 350,000 customers and a survey of 15,000, reported that Generation Xers ordered the most edibles, followed by Generation Z, millennials and baby boomers. In another sign of the growing interest in edibles, a California company raised $6 million in funding to start an edibles production company in the Golden State. Plus Products will offer “cannabis-infused projects.”
A Growing Market
BDS Analytics, which focuses on analysis of the legal cannabis industry, estimates the edible market at $669 million in four states alone: California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. All four states have legalized marijuana for both recreational and medical use.
About 40 percent of edible sales were from marijuana-infused candy, BDS reported, with 21 percent going to infused chocolate products.
However, the popularity of various edibles varies state to state. In California, for instance, infused foods such as baklava, brownies and chocolate chip cookies are popular. That’s not the case in Colorado, BDS Analytics reports. There, candy sales were 49 percent of the edibles market. About 70 percent of the candy sales were gummies.
For a look at the variety in edibles and anecdotal evidence of its growth, an instructive stop is Wana Brands. The leader in marijuana edibles in Colorado, the company is run by Nancy Whiteman, a 59-year-old entrepreneur and mother of two. Wana Brands earns millions selling sour gummies and “made from scratch” edibles and concentrates. It now sells its goods in Oregon, Nevada and Arizona.
Gummies rule. They have them in mango, watermelon, blueberry, apple, grape, orange, pineapple, raspberry and strawberry flavors (among, believe it or not, others). They even produce Game Day Gummies for Denver Broncos fans.
Only governments can slow the spread of edibles, BDS believes. They note: “It is laws, not consumer demand, that so far have held back worldwide expansion of commercial cannabis sales, and hence development of new consumption forms.”