A new study from Culinary Visions, Chicago, explores consumer understanding and interest in a wide range of food and beverage products made with cannabis ingredients.  

Trust and traceability were among the most important issues related to food and beverage products made with cannabis ingredients. In fact, 45% of those surveyed said they would trust products that are commercially made to be safe. Yet, despite the trust of commercial cannabis products, 42% said they would prefer to buy from a small batch producer vs. a big food company. Only 29% of consumers would trust the quality of cannabis-infused products bought online. Half of those surveyed said they would feel more comfortable buying cannabis-infused products if they had the opportunity to speak with a knowledgeable sales representative.

"With the momentum for legalization of cannabis, we felt this was the perfect time to explore interest in specific food and beverage products with cannabis ingredients. We believe the global interest of consumers in functional ingredients and the cachet of adventure that has long been associated with cannabis is fueling this trend," says Sharon Olson, executive director. "Some of the characteristics associated with product concepts that appealed to consumers were the same characteristics that appeal in gourmet retail and restaurant venues. Small batch production, knowledgeable staff and great taste are examples of these attributes.” 

Among the product concepts studied, 48% of those surveyed showed interested in trying baked goods infused with cannabis, while 44% expressed interested in trying cannabis-infused snacks.

Although 47% of consumers said that they would choose to consume cannabis for the effect, not the taste, taste still remains an important factor. And, 50% said they would prefer not being able to taste the cannabis flavor in a cannabis-infused product, while 48% would expect cannabis-infused products to taste good.

About the survey

The Culinary Visions Cannabis Products Project surveyed 2,000 consumers to anticipate product development trends and reveal insights on the future of cannabis in the food industry.