Why are CBD Edibles Being Pulled Off Restaurants in Some Parts of the Country?

Across various parts of the country, health department officials are asking restaurants to voluntarily pull CBD-infused foods and drinks off menus.

The latest local and regional governments that have reportedly taken steps against CBD are New York City, California, Texas, and Ohio banning the substance from restaurants and retail stores.

For example, according to the New York City’s official government website, beginning July 1, New York City restaurants that don’t comply with the CBD ban voluntarily could be embargoed of their CBD products by the health department... and by October 1, officials “will begin issuing violations to restaurants and retailers for offering CBD-laced foods and drinks. Violations may be subject to fines as well as violation points that count toward the establishment’s letter grade.”

CBD, or cannabidiol, which derives from cannabis, doesn’t cause the psychoactive effects for the lack of enough THC—the compound that gives people the “high” sensation.

In fact, CBD proponents claim the substance is mainly used for its therapeutic benefits helping people relax, ease pain, anxiety, insomnia, and even depression.

Despite the fact that not many studies have been done on cannabidiol in human trials, as pointed out by a recent New York Times article, we are seeing an immense amount of CBD products being sold across the country, with Walgreens as the latest retailer to announce plans to sell creams, patches, and sprays in nearly 1,500 stores in select states.

So, why is it being pulled out of the restaurant space, specifically?

Although, the farm bill that was passed in December 2018 legalized industrial hemp in the U.S., this only means industrial hemp was removed from the controlled substance category. Anything that is put in foods and drinks has to be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and, as of right now, CBD is not determined safe or effective for other health conditions aside from being an active ingredient in an approved drug that treats two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.

The FDA regulations are something different and there’s a huge push from lawmakers to change this.

Since there is no federal law specifically addressing CBD-laced edibles, some states, like Colorado and Maine, have already attempted to clarify the status of the substance by passing laws allowing the addition of CBD to food, as reported by Reuters. California and Texas have introduced bi-partisan legislation to do the same, as reported by the Associated Press.

Last week, the FDA slated the first public hearing to take place May 31 to discuss how to regulate CBD food and beverage products.

In the meantime, here at Foodable, we are tracking the latest in this arena:

In a podcast episode of Chef AF, Chef Brandon Foster shares with us a personal anecdote about how CBD has positively affected a local farmer to The point where this person wanted to dedicate the rest of his available land to grow hemp for the CBD industry.

In an On Foodable Feature episode, our host Layla Harrison breaks down for our audience some of the CBD-infused products that have stood out from the rest.

And in a Barron Report podcast episode, we learned about Azuca— a company offering CBD and THC products ranging from edibles to sweet syrups.

We expect to continue hearing about ‘Culinary Cannabis’ and its impact on the restaurant business and society as a whole. so, stay tuned for more interesting content!

Westward Whiskey Provides An Airport Tasting Room Experience At PDX

On this episode of On Foodable Feature, our host Layla Harrison speaks with Thomas Mooney, co-owner and CEO of Westward Whiskey based out of Portland, Oregon.

This craft distillery is the largest on the West Coast and aside from having an oversized, in-house tasting room, it has created the first ever airport tasting room in Portland International Airport (PDX).

“Our tasting room at PDX airport has been a really great addition to our business and a fantastic way to connect with people who love whiskey and travel,” says Mooney.

With 20 million people visiting PDX a year, we can see why an airport tasting room makes sense!

Check out the video above to learn about the two spirits being featured—Westward American Single Malt Whiskey and Westward American Single Malt Oregon Stout Cask!

Yogurts Changing the Snacking Game

Consumers' eating habits are constantly evolving and the millennial population is paving the way.

According to a 2017 survey by Surverygoo, commissioned by Welch’s Global Ingredients Group, 92 percent of millennials (consumers between the ages of 18 and 35) are replacing full meals with snacks. Specifically, 26 percent of those surveyed eat a snack over a meal about four times a week.

This trend is only gaining momentum as more consumers adopt healthier lifestyles.

As snacking increases, the more diners are looking for grab-and-go options at restaurants and at grocery stores.

One of the most loved snacks on the market remains yogurt. Yogurt brands have been ahead of the curve when it comes to catering to those with dietary restrictions, which is more important in today's market than ever.

“Consumers want to eat in ways that address real dietary concerns, but they can’t do it alone. They need help from food manufacturers to offer products formulated with an eye towards food sensitivities and other specialized diets, and they need help from retailers to stock shelves with a proper assortment of foods that cater to a wider variety of consumer needs,” said Andrew Mandzy, Director, Strategic Insights, Nielsen.

In the On Foodable Feature video above, FoodableTV Host Layla Harrison is tasting five different "yogurt" options including Oikos Greek Yogurt, Siggi's, non-dairy Chobani, Kite Hill Vanilla Almond Milk Yogurt, and Noosa Yoghurt.

Several of these options cater to health-conscious eaters.

Siggi's, for example, has 25 percent less sugar, along with no preservatives, no artificial coloring and is made with real fruit. Both the Kite Hill and Non-Dairy Chobani are plant-based.

Watch the video above to learn more about these yogurt-like options and see which one Layla likes the best.

How On-Brand Music Programs are Enhancing the Guest Experience

Music plays a pivotal role in a restaurant's ambiance. It helps to convey the vibe you want your restaurant to have. However, as Adam Melrose, the chief playlist officer of Control Play, says music tends to take a back seat.

But music can really enhance the brand experience in multiple ways, starting with the team members at the restaurant.

"Music has a lot to do even with just the energy of the staff members," says Melrose in the video. "If the staff is having more fun, their gonna have more fun with your customer."

Music on loudspeakers is common, but at most restaurants, there are also TV screens meant to add entertainment value. Mostly, sports or ChiveTV are popular programs being played for diners.

Melrose points out that in 2017, 25 percent of all music listened to all over the world was done while watching music videos. With that being said, playing music videos on screens has its advantages from an operator standpoint.

"Once the videos are part of the experience, people are staying longer and that equates to another drink or another shareable or a just longer stay time, which only increases how much money they're going to spend while there," says Melrose.

Unlike Pandora or Spotify, Control Play creates custom video entertainment specifically for restaurants and bars. With over 5,000 venues using the service in North America, Control Play curates a playlist specifically for your restaurant and the experience you want to convey. The playlist is constantly updated too, meaning the same old' songs won't be playing over and over to torture your staff.

What role does music play at your restaurant? Watch the On Foodable Feature episode above to learn more about Control Play and how music and video can enhance your customers' dining experience.

Video Produced by:

Vanessa Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez

Writer & Producer


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Robot Employees are the Latest Grocery Store Technology

2019 is proving to be an innovative year for the foodservice industry. Technological advances such as cashless stores and apps that help fill more restaurant seats with hungry diners aren’t the only latest trends.

Some of the latest innovations we’ve seen at Foodable are introducing technological advances, like robots, to the grocery store space.

Grocery chain Stop and Shop, is partnering with mobile market startup Robomart to bring a new method of grocery delivery to Boston this Spring. Instead of having customers order their groceries and deliver them to the door, customers will be able to order a remote-operated Robomart vehicle to their door via an app and pick out their own produce from a pre-stocked vehicle.

The Robomart app utilizes a patent-pending RFID “check-out free” system, charging customers automatically for items.

Another way technology is becoming more prevalent in the grocery store space is shown by Giant Food Stores.

Recently, the chain introduced a robot named Marty to its 172 United States stores. Marty is  built to roam around the store, looking for spills and trip hazards, which are reported to store employees. But that’s not all Marty can do, the robot can scan shelves for items that are out of stock, and perform price checks, looking for discrepancies between the shelf and the store’s scanning system.

Watch the video above to learn about other technological advances in the grocery store industry, and what companies are employing robots.

Produced by:

Rachel Brill

Rachel Brill

Social Producer


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