Carl’s Jr. tested a CBD burger during 420 Day, a move possibly hinting about the chain’s plan to have it on its menu permanently.
Carl’s Jr. tested a cannabidiol-infused (CBD) burger as a form of its participation in the recently held 420 Day, the widely recognized but unofficial national holiday for cannabis culture. The American fast-food chain tested the burgers at one of its locations in Denver, Colorado where recreational marijuana is legal.
The test involved Carl’s Jr. Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight which is made with two beef patties, pickled jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, and waffle fries. The CBD flavoring is in the burger’s Santa Fe Sauce which was made with about 5 milligrams of CBD extracted from hemp.
Carl’s Jr. became the first national fast food chain to have done CBD-infusion with their products. Experts believe that McDonald’s and Wendy’s are reluctant to jump into the emerging market, perhaps partly because CBD remains to be a gray area. The Food and Drug Administration still prohibits putting the previously illegal compound into everything that people ingest, most especially if the company involved claims medicinal properties.
As for Carl’s Jr., it made clear that the chain isn’t promoting any possible functional benefits of CBD other than it is a strategic move to capture the evolving taste of the younger consumers.
“They (younger customers) are more open to different flavors of products,” said Patty Trevino, senior vice president of brand marketing for Carl’s Jr. She added that Carl’s Jr. is currently all about innovation. More importantly, Trevino said, the burger chain had the CBD burger test to gauge whether the new trend could be a permanent offering.
Barely a month after the 420 test of its CBD burger, Carl’s Jr. is yet to announce any update regarding its CBD burger. While excited patrons wait, we listed some of the factors that could prompt Carl’s Jr. in possibly making the CBD burger permanent.
Why Carl’s Jr. should CBD burger permanent on its menu
• Colorado is one of the few states where recreational marijuana is legal. At present, cannabis is one of Colorado’s rapidly growing industries. In 2018 alone, Colorado amassed $1.55 billion from the sale of marijuana across its medical and retail dispensaries.
• During the 420 Day, Carl’s Jr. had reportedly sold 1,000 CBD burgers by noon and had run out of the burger by 4 p.m. the same day. In total, the burger chain sold 2,200 CBD burgers, according to an unconfirmed report.
• A recent estimate from Cowen analysts predicts revenue from the entire CBD market will grow to $16 billion by 2025. The firm projected that CBD retails sales reached between $600 million to $2 billion in 2018. The firm also said that CBD products are more in demand among the younger generation – something that Carl’s Jr. identified as well. Specifically, nine percent of those under 35 years use CBD products while only 6.4 percent and 3.7 percent of those aged between 45 and 55 and those older than 55 use CBD products.
• Another estimate made before the 2018 Farm Bill already projected the marijuana edibles market to be worth $4.1 billion by 2022.
• A survey of about 350 chefs from the American Culinary Federation conducted by the National Restaurant Association found that CBD and cannabis-infused food and beverages are among the top restaurant trends for 2019. Nearly 77 percent of those surveyed said cannabis-infused drink will be the number 1 trend while 76 percent of them believed cannabis-infused food as the second most popular. The chefs also believed that CBD-infused recipes could create a unique cuisine experience for customers who are looking for a unique dining experience.