Plant-based, CBD-Infused Food and More Trends to Watch

May 17, 2019

I am currently attending a three-day Marketing Executives Group conference sponsored by the National Restaurant Association. This special event brings the biggest brands and the smartest marketing executives together to share ideas and discuss solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing the restaurant industry.

My ten big takeaways from day one: 

1. According to the Deloitte Human Capital Trends Report, 82% of respondents believe that culture is a competitive advantage.
2. Only 12% of restaurant executives believe their company is driving the right culture
3. Culture describes the “way things work around here,” while engagement describes how people feel about “the way things work around here.”
4. Restaurant sales in plant-based items continue to grow by double digits.
5. If your food presentation is not “Instagramable,” you have work to do!
6. CBD-infused drinks are the number one trend, and number two is CBD-infused food
7. Carrots could be the new cauliflower.
8. Kale and Brussels sprouts are still the fastest growing vegetable trend.
9. Smoked foods continue to gain traction in fast food.
10. It’s not just about the restaurant’s ambiance – menus must be experiential, too!

I am looking forward to the next two days here! Stay tuned for our next blog post regarding more important industry trends to watch.

— Dean Small