If you feel like you’ve been seeing CBD everywhere you’re not alone, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Earlier this month, the National Restaurant Association released its 2019 What’s Hot Culinary Forecast. 650 professional chefs (who are members of the American Culinary Federation) were asked to identify and rank 140 items to offer insight into the overall culinary themes that will dominate 2019.
Cannabis/CBD oil-infused food and drinks took the top spots in a landslide. 77 percent of chefs ranked cannabis/CBD oil-infused drinks as the number 1 trend and 76 percent ranked cannabis/CBD oil-infused food number 2. Right behind all things cannabis and CBD was zero-waste cooking.
The rest of the list is as follows:
- Cannabis/CBD oil-infused food
- Zero-waste cooking
- Globally-inspired breakfast dishes
- Global flavors in kids’ meals
- New cuts of meat
- Veggie-centric/vegetable-forward cuisine
- Chef-driven fast-casual concepts
- Craft/artisan/locally produced spirits
“Zero-waste cooking is a sign of the times,” Hudson Riehle, National Restaurant Association’s senior vice president of research, said in a release. “Millennial and Gen Z customers in particular expect the restaurants they patronize to be more eco-friendly, so sustainability is high on their list. It’s also good for business. Not only is food waste reduction more cost-effective, it creates brand loyalty and helps protect the planet. It’s a big win for everyone.”
The chefs that participated in the survey listed nose-to-tail cooking, utilizing “ugly” produce and composting as ways to minimize food waste in their kitchens. Products that were once discarded are now being used in creative ways, like using coffee grinds to flavor ice cream or chopping up cabbage butts for stir-fries. On the CBD and cannabis front, chefs see unique opportunities for cuisine and experiential dining.
Top trends for 2019 were also broken down by category, with Thai rolled ice cream and doughnuts with nontraditional fillings topping snacks and sweets, and globally-inspired breakfast dishes and vegetable carb substitutes (like zucchini noodles and cauliflower rice) as the most popular dishes. When it came to alcoholic beverages, craft, artisan and locally produced spirits came out on top, and across all categories there was a theme of global flavors, with North African cuisine voted the “hottest” global flavor.