Inside the Statistics: Cannabis and Foodservice

Cannabis is having more frequent impacts on the foodservice industry, changes that will have lasting effects. In restaurants in particular, benefits including increased spending on food and beverage, boosts in delivery and takeout orders, and menu innovation are just a few of the pros of legalization as it relates to food and beverage.

The proof of these impacts is in the statistics, so let’s take a look at important numbers that show just how far cannabis has integrated into the culinary world.


One of the main benefits people always speak about in regards to cannabis is stress relief. According a Cannabis Craze study by Technomics, 54 percent of consumers would like to buy foods or beverages that contribute to these benefits, and 20 percent would be willing to may more for them.


As we mentioned in a previous blog on the impacts of cannabis legalization, every year, the National Restaurant Association releases a What’s Hot, What’s New list of the top trends in food and beverage, and in their 2019 edition, cannabis took the top two spots with its use in both food and beverage. This report is based on input from chefs, but it’s really the consumers who are driving the trends.

According to Technomics, 72 percent of consumers would visit a restaurant that incorporates marijuana in their food, and there’s been a 9.2 percent increase in year-over-year mentions of cannabis on menus. In addition, 63 percent of consumers report using cannabis prior to going to restaurants or bars.

According to another Technomics report on the effects of marijuana in restaurants, the top dishes that include cannabis are fruit smoothies, drink add-ins, cereal and granola, specialty salads, other types of blended smoothies, garden or veggie burgers, salad toppings or dressing, and then, as a generality, other types of toppings.

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Laws and regulations are changing quickly, one election cycle after another. There are no signs or reasons this will slow. As a result, it’s important for foodservice operators — and operators throughout the cannabis industry — to be forward thinking.

One potential change we might see is the development of cannabis lounges. These lounges might take man forms, but they will certainly be opportunities to pair food and beverage with cannabis in one form or another, and 70 percent of consumers say they’d be interested in these types of operations.

The Takeaways from the Crossroads of Cannabis and Culinary

As we reviewed many of the reports on cannabis and its impact on food and beverage there were five main takeaways as suggested by Technomics that foodservice operators should consider as we look forward.

5 Cannabis Takeaways Middleby

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Topics: Foodservice Industry Trends