Why the Cannabis Edible Market is Expected to Boom in Canada

We recently reported that the edible sector in the cannabis market is expected to hit $ 4.1 billion by 2022 in both Canada and the U.S. according to recent report by Arcview Market Research.

This significant growth is partially attributed to Canada rolling out legalized cannabis earlier this week.

However, the cannabis industry is a heavily regulated industry and in the U.S. and this presents some challenges. Even in the U.S. states where cannabis is legal, the regulations differ from state to state.

So popular products like Nancy Whiteman’s cannabis caramels can be sold in Oregon but can't be sold in Colorado because they are too buttery to hold the imprint of the THC symbol.

With that in mind, Whiteman's Colorado-based cannabis company is focusing on different markets when it comes to some of its edible products.

"Nancy Whiteman’s business is exploding. Wana Brands, based in Boulder, has zoomed from approximately $100,000 (U.S.) in sales in its first year in 2010, to more than $14 million last year," writes "The Star." "Wana — “Wana enhance your life?” — is pushing toward control of a quarter share of Colorado’s edibles market while keeping an eye on developments in other states and, enticingly, Canada."

Whiteman, along with other U.S. cannabis businesses , is looking into partnering with Canada companies to get into the soon to be exploding market.

“We have talked with many LPs (licensed producers) in Canada and are still making a decision on partners, but fully intend to be in Canada once edibles are legal," said Whiteman.

But there are still regulatory hurdles to overcome in the edible market.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced earlier this month that cannabis-infused products that could be accidentally ingested by children like candies and lollipops will no longer be allowed to be sold.

Does this mean that Canada and other U.S. states will soon implement similar rules?

Consumers spend the most on the candy cannabis subcategory in Colorado, followed by chocolate at a close second.

Learn more at "The Star."

As the cannabis industry booms, CBD the legal non-psychoactive compound found in the marijuana plant is also on the rise. CBD-infusions are now being served in cities across the country. Listen to this recent episode of The Barron Report below to learn how CBD is making an impact in the foodservice industry.

Veggie Grill to Expand to the East Coast With First NYC Store

The fast casual chain known for its veggie-centric bowls, Veggie Grill has announced that it's expanding to the east coast with a new store in New York City's trendy Flatiron District.

The concept has 31 total stores in California, Oregon, Washington, and Illinois, but will be soon feeding the NYC masses bold yet healthy food starting spring of 2019.

The west-coast based chain launched in the Midwest with a Chicago location earlier this year. But the management team felt it was time for the fast casual to set up some roots in The Big Apple.

“The expansion of Veggie Grill to the East Coast could not come at a better time,” said Steve Heeley, Veggie Grill CEO in a press release. “Plant-based food and clean eating continues to be a growing trend, especially in big cities, so New York City is a very exciting opening for us and we look forward to joining the community there.”

The chain's menu, where vegetables take the center stage, is seasonal with plant-based favorites like the Mediterranean Supergreens Salad and Santa Fe Crispy Chickin’, Sonoran Bowl. The brand has also partnered with a company on the rise Beyond Meat and serves the VG Beyond Burger on its menu.

Earlier in the year, Veggie Grill made two new hires to help foster the brand's rapid growth. Tim Welsh, VP of Real Estate and Development, has been leading the efforts to achieve the brand's lofty goal of doubling its stores by 2020. Then the fast casual also hired the vegan food expert Kajsa Alger to be the director of culinary innovation to develop new menu items.

Back in 2015, we visited the veggie-focused brand on the west coast. Watch the video below to learn about how the chain developed its unique menu from the former Chief Energizing Officer.

Shake Shack and BurgerFi are the Only Burger Chains to Get an A on the Annual Antibiotics Report Card

The industry has evolved over the years to meet the demands of today's diners. Consumers have made it clear that they expect higher quality food product from restaurants.

With that being said, this has fueled the better-burger movement.

But this sector has quickly become competitive with so many brands for the consumer to choose from. There’s Shake Shack, Five Guys, Shula Burger, Burger 21, BurgerFi and so many more in the mix stealing away customers from McDonald’s and other quick-serve burger joints promising a better-burger burger product.

According to the latest antibiotics report card, only two burger chains out of the 25 graded received the grade A–BurgerFi and Shake Shack.

These chains are the only ones on the list serving antibiotic-free beef.

"What's interesting about that is they also happen to be what I think of to be these younger upstarts that are disrupting the normal kind of operational model that burger chains have use for decades now, and customers are really responding to that," said Lena Brook, lead researcher of the report to "CNN." "They are being rewarded for the good food that they are serving and the good practices that stand behind that food, and serving responsibly raised beef is a part of that new business model."

But all the other chains graded, including Wendy's, McDonald's, In-N-Out Burger–all received a D minus or F.

Wendy's responding that the company is working toward its goal of serving only antibiotic-free beef and pork.

"As we go forward, we have a goal of eliminating routine antibiotic use in our beef and pork supply, while protecting the need for targeted, therapeutic use of an antibiotic in the limited cases where a sick animal needs to be treated individually, or in the unlikely case that animals have been exposed to an illness and treatment with an antibiotic is necessary to prevent a disease outbreak," said Liliana Esposito, chief communications officer for Wendy's wrote in a blog post.

In-N-Out said in February 2016 that the company is also aiming to try to eliminate antibiotics in its beef products, but according to the report, the QSR chain has yet to report on its progress.

Read more about the report at "KTLA" now.

Earlier in the year, we sat down with Shack Shack CEO Randy Garutti to see how the chain has become a fan-favorite and some of the brand's secrets to success.

Check out The Barron Report podcast episode below.

Simple Never Tasted So Good with Idahoan® Rustic Homestyle Russets Mashed Potatoes

Simple Never Tasted So Good with Idahoan® Rustic Homestyle Russets Mashed Potatoes

The majestic spud has withstood the test of time as a favorite side dish of diners, and for good reason.

Potatoes don’t just taste good, they are also good for you, offering an enriching source of vitamins C and B6, manganese, phosphorus, niacin and pantothenic acid.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, potatoes are the No. 1 vegetable crop in the U.S. and the fourth most consumed crop in the world. The average American eats roughly 124 lbs. of potatoes per year.

It also holds the honor of being the first vegetable to be grown in space.

Besides the taste, the spud remains so popular because of its versatility. There are thousands of potato varieties, but the most popular include russet, red, white, yellow, purple, fingerling and petite. Potatoes can be served either baked, mashed, roasted, fried, scalloped or hashed, among many other creative options.

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Kentucky Bourbon Makers Brace for New Tariffs


The American bourbon industry is one of the industries to be subjected to retroactive tariffs in response to the Trump Administration's tough trade negotiations.

In June, China, Mexico, Canada, and the European Union collectively agreed to impose tariffs on America's beloved bourbon.

Currently, Kentucky produces 95 percent of the world's supply of bourbon, generating $85 billion a year.

China imports $12.8 million in U.S. spirits a year, $9 million of which is whiskey and the EU imports $789 million of U.S. spirits a year, 85 percent of which is Bourbon, Tennesse whiskey, and rye whiskey.

So the tariffs are bound to take a hit on the industry's revenue, bourbon makers are prepping for the impact it will have on the state.

According to Eric Gregory, the president of the Kentucky Distillers' Association, Kentucky bourbon companies export the spirit to 126 countries and that the larger distillers export more than half their market overseas.

"In the past 15 to 20 years, the global market's really increased, ever since we started with the free trade agreements in the mid-'90s," said Gregory to "NPR."

Now that the free trade agreements like NAFTA and EU agreements are under threat, bourbon makers are preparing to make adjustments, none of which they like.

"This is a 25 percent tax increase - tariffs are taxes, no doubt about it. So you're either going to pass along those costs to your consumer - and hopefully you, you know, have people that you've converted from scotch to remain bourbon drinkers," said Gregory. "Or you take fewer profits back, which means less investment back home here in Kentucky. And we don't like that option either. So there are a lot of different ways out of this. And we don't like any of them."

Kentucky's Congressman Andy Barr met with Vice President Mike Pence when he came to the state in spring to discuss the issue. But bourbon makers are anxiously waiting for a solution from the White House.

Read more about how the bourbon industry is reacting to the tariffs at "NPR."

Speaking of bourbon, last year we used Foodable Labs data to determine the best overall rated bourbon brands. Check out the top bourbon spirits on our list in the video below.