Flavor Insight: Plum

May 13, 2020
Flavor Trends

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There are over 2,000 varieties of plum that grow around the world. Plums are a stone fruit that grow in clusters and have a smooth, deeply colored skin and a center pit. After several years of decline, plum is making a comeback with 14% growth in plum flavored new products globally in just the past year. Asia Pacific is the key region for growth with 60% of all plum flavored new products. Let’s take a closer look at the various forms of plum on the menu, in social media, and in new products.

Social Listening Summary

We conducted a social listening analysis on plum covering the previous six months. An overview is provided below.

  • 1.8 mentions per minute
  • 67% female voice

Keywords: cake, wine, jam, delicious, fresh

Key Consumer Interests: 73% food & drinks; 48% desserts & baking; 20% cooking

Top Posts

Instagram: @searsteakhouse posted a featured menu item of foie gras with truffle cream cheese and a sour plum chutney on an open sandwich.

Twitter: @toptropicals.com posted: #Carissa grandiflora - Natal Plum. Fragrant star-like #flowers and #ediblefruit. The oval fruit with tender, smooth skin turns to a bright magenta-red, must be fully ripe and slightly soft to the touch to be eaten raw.50 recipes on food.com

On Food.com, 675 recipes appear when you search for plum. Recipes include German plum cake, plum breads, pies and tarts, jams and sauces, Polish plum dumplings and old fashioned sugar plums.

Shiro Plums

In the August 2019 issue of Saveur magazine, they highlight summer produce and some gems that were inspiring them. Shiro plums are one of the six items featured. The Japanese plum is described as “super-sweet with a picture-perfect shape and luminous yellow skin and flesh.” It is recommended for baked goods and an ideal mix-in for brightly colored crumbles and galettes.

Plum on the Menu:Q3 2018 - Q3 2019

553 plum Mentions on the Menu

Fine Dining is the top restaurant segment, with beverage, dessert and entrées the top three menu sections with the most plum-flavored items. Beverages account for 49% of all plum-flavored menu items.

Menu Mentions:

  • Warm Garden Plum Upside-Down Cake features a summer berry sauce, creme fraiche ice cream at toasted pistachios at Mustards Grill in Napa, CA

  • The Plum Rose features American Harvest, Amaro Montenegro, lime, plum preserves, and sparkling rosé at Del Frisco’s in Southlake, Texas

  • Firecracker Wings with a spicy sesame garlic plum glaze and green onions at Yard House in Irvine, CA.

“There are over 2,000 varieties of plum, spanning a range of colors, tastes, and textures, and plums are produced all over the world (Asia being the largest producer). Most sport some pretty great health benefits, too, including loads of vitamin C and iron.” -Chowhound

Plum Global New Product Introductions 2014-2019

3,268 plum flavored new product introductions


  • ASIA PACIFIC is the top global region for plum new product introductions with 60% of all new products.

  • FRUIT SNACKS is the top product sub-category globally for plum flavored new products.

  • SOUR is the top flavor paired with plum.

Pop-Smile Plum Flavored Sweet Potato Chips: Made using Taiwan golden sweet potato. This 100% freshly made product contains no colorings and preservatives. | Taiwan

Copra Plum Flavored Coconut Milk: This non-dairy milk can be consumed hot or cold and can be used as a part of culinary preparations. | Brazil

Fitella Light Muesli With Plums, Raisins & Sunflower: This crunchy muesli is described as a good source of fiber. | Bulgaria

Plum North America New Product Introductions 2014-2019

69 plum flavored new product introductions


  • NORTH AMERICA accounts for 2% of all plum flavored new product introductions.

  • FRUIT SNACKS are the top product sub-category for plum flavored new products.

  • GINGER is the top flavor paired with plum.


Red Bull the Winter Edition Plum Energy Drink: This product is said to vitalize body and mind, provides 160 calories per can, and contains caffeine. 28% of consumers responded that they likely or definitely would purchase this product, significantly outperforming its subcategory. | USA

Door Peninsula Winery Witches Brew Semi-Dry Grape, Plum and Strawberry Wine: This seasonal wine is said to capture the wickedly delightful flavors of Door County at Fall’s end.  43% of consumers responded that they likely or definitely would purchase this product, significantly outperforming its subcategory. | USA

ALDI Specially Selected Goat Cheese & Plum Sauce Bistro Style Flatbread: A crunchy flatbread with creme fraiche sauce, plum sauce, mozzarella cheese, goat cheese, tomatoes, and spinach. Only 35% of consumers responded that they likely or definitely would purchase this product, significantly underperforming its subcategory. | USA

The Takeaways

Plum is making a comeback and showing 14% growth in the past year across the globe primarily in snacks and chocolate confectionery. We are also spotting growth in plum flavored menu items, with fine dining as the top restaurant segment and beverages accounting for 49% of all plum flavored menu items. For those posting about plums on social media the words cake, wine, jam, delicious and fresh as most often associated with posts about plum. This sweet flavor profile adds a unique fruit flavor profile beyond jams & preserves and is moving into barbeque sauces, non-dairy milks and even potato chips. The question is: is plum on your Flavor Radar?

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Sources in full report