Cannabis is having a moment, and celebrity weed-enthusiast Cheech Marin, of ‘Cheech & Chong’ fame is taking full advantage. Marin has teamed up with award-winning chef Zach Neil to launch Muncheechos, a nationwide, virtual brand catering to stoners run out of ghost kitchens.
The humble marijuana plant – which has been used medicinally, ritually and recreationally for millennia— is, perhaps, more popular than ever. Sure, the 70s happened. But it was a different time. As popular as weed was, it was illegal and considered part of the ‘counterculture’ movement (of which Marin was arguably king).
Today, the recreational use of cannabis is legalized in 18 states, federal legislation is imminent. In July, market research firm Headset, projected the cannabis market will exceed $30 billion in sales by 2023.
Despite the existence of Taco Bell, Muncheechos claims to be the first brand to specifically offer “stoner food”, with stoners in mind. Their eclectic menu reads like a stoner’s dream, complete with punny names like ‘Dope Dumplings’, chicken and scallion-stuffed fried dumplings, ‘Muncheechos Munchachos’, decadent BBQ chicken mac and cheese nachos, and ‘The Hybrid’, a salty and sweet grilled cheese with Gouda, brie, cheddar, gruyere, sliced apple and a salted caramel drizzle. They will also offer CBD-infused edibles and a selection of vegan options.
Muncheechos is a delivery-only virtual brand. All of their food is produced in ghost kitchens and delivered straight to customers’ doors. According to the brand’s press release, demand for delivery has spiked 8,000% over the last year.
Independent operators should take note. Muncheechos is taking advantage of four massively popular F&B trends: the post-Covid ‘homebody economy,’ the rapidly expanding delivery market, premiumization and, of course, cannabis. Beyond that, ghost kitchens are highly optimized operations. Their menus are the result of careful local research – literally created to have mass appeal for a delivery-centric audience. Keep an eye on what they’re serving, you might get inspired to add something new to your menu (just make sure it resonates with your audience and brand).