Trend Report: The Cannabis Cuisine Scene Grows At The Food & Wine Classic In Aspen

Tents TK Rising Sun Photography/Food & Wine Classic in Aspen After a historic 2019 debut at the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, cannabis earned another seat at the culinary festival’s coveted table (Sept. 10-12, 2021).

The three-day outdoor event marked a triumphant return following the cancellation of the 2020 summer edition, rescheduled instead against an autumn alpine backdrop. Headliners from Martha Stewart , Guy Fieri and Andrew Zimmern to Bravo “Top Chefs” including Melissa King, Shota Nakajima and Kwame Onwauchi toasted to gathering again, leading a full slate of tastings and seminars. The sold-out crowd was smaller this year as organizers responded to the ongoing effects of the pandemic by hosting about half of its usual capacity (2,500 festivalgoers were required to confirm vaccination).

Since first embracing CBD-forward brands two years ago, the Meredith Corporation-owned media company has furthered its interest in cannabis as it relates to the food and wine worlds — in 2020, the magazine published its first in-depth report on the subject and has seen an increase in reader response for infused recipes and news items, according to Food & Wine editor-in-chief Hunter Lewis.

“We’ve worked to cover cannabis in a serious way for our readers — to inform and provide insight to help our audience better understand and navigate this emerging space. Consumer perceptions and consumption patterns have been changing in a major way,” shared Lewis. “Given the growing legalization and mainstreaming of cannabis culture in the country and Colorado’s presence as a leader in the industry, it’s only natural that you will continue to see CBD integrated in the magazine and at the Classic very organically.”

The three CBD companies who were invited to partake — CarryOn, Lord Jones and Red Belly Honey — were ultimately selected because they “are all high-end brands that support people’s wellness mission,” stated Food & Wine Classic in Aspen executive director Diella Allen. Beyond official participants, other cannabis brands hosted activations over the course of the weekend to capitalize on the captive audience of tastemakers in town.

“We look for brands that align with the Classic’s attendees and the editorial mission when selecting exhibitors for the event,” explained Allen. “This is how we select all exhibitors — are they newsworthy? Has Food & Wine covered them? Do they enhance the experience by introducing them to new products and sharing new trends?”

From Ocean Spray’s CBD beverage launch to a superfood infused by bees, here are five top takeaways from the 38th Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. Lord Jones Old Fashioned Hemp-Derived CBD Gumdrops. Luxury Leader

Upon entering the iconic white tents of the Grand Tasting Pavilion, the first sight many passholders set their sights on was a colorful, candy shop-esque display table by Lord Jones — arguably the original “luxury cannabis” brand to emerge in the post-legalization era.

“There is nothing like the ritual of starting any experience with a Lord Jones Old Fashioned Hemp-Derived CBD Gumdrop, so this placement as the first touchpoint before entering the event was kismet,” reflected […]

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