Flavor Insight: Lavender

December 4, 2020
Flavor Trends
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A flowering plant in the mint family, lavender lends a floral and slightly sweet flavor to dishes. It is used in salads and dressings, baked goods and desserts, and is also used to make lavender sugar. Lavender flowers can be blended with teas and also yield abundant nectar from which bees make a high quality honey. The flowers can be candied and used as cake decorations. Over the past 5 years, lavender has been showing growth around the globe with a 138% increase in new products since 2014. Europe is the key region for growth with 56% of all lavender flavored new products. Let’s take a closer look at the various forms of lavender on the menu, in social media, and in new products.


Lavender Social Listening Summary


We conducted a social listening analysis on lavender covering the previous 12 months. An overview is provided below.

  • 3 mentions per minute

  • 75% female voice


Key words

  1. Ice cream

  2. Jam

  3. Pie

  4. Oregon


Top Post

Pinterest: @cortez4296 posted a recipe claiming “This Lavender Lemonade Recipe Helps Relieve Headaches, Migraines and Anxiety”

On Foodnetwork.com, 247 recipes appear when you search for lavender. Recipes include many bakery items such as lavender sugar cookies and shortbread, lavender cupcake and lavender-lemon pie. Beverages are also prominently featured including: lavender lemonade with cava and lavender chamomile tequila.

For the Love of Lavender

The May 2019 edition of Food Network magazine features a recipe for Lavender cookies with White Chocolate Glaze. This recipe includes dried lavender which is pulsed in a spice or coffee grinder until it is finely ground before being added to the cookie dough before it is cooked at 350 for about 20 minutes. Once the cookies are completely cool, they are drizzled with a white chocolate glaze and sugar sprinkles.

Lavender on the Menu: Q4 2018- Q4 2019


630 lavender mentions on the menu

Fine/Upscale/Gourmet is the top restaurant segment, with beverage, dessert, and entree the top three menu sections with the most lavender-flavored items. Beverages account for 69% of all lavender-flavored menu items.

MENU MENTIONS:

  • Lavender Earl Grey Cheesecake is offered at Tilth, in Seattle, Washington.

  • Lavender cosmopolitans are offered featuring fresh lime sour and lavender sugar at Kincaid’s in St. Paul, Minnesota

  • Pan Seared Foie Gras with Blueberry Lavender Gastrique is offered at The Chef’s Table at the Edgewater in Winter Garden, FL.


21% of US consumers would like to see items with floral flavors on a menu when dining out. - Mintel

Lavender Global New Product Introductions 2014-2019


533 Lavender flavored new product introductions

GLOBAL FAST FACTS:

NORTH AMERICA is the top global region for lavender new product introductions with 57% of all new products.

HOT BEVERAGES is the top product sub-category globally for lavender flavored new products.

CHAMOMILE is the top flavor paired with lavender.

Products of Note:


No. 04 British Lavender Dry Gin: Infused with select botanicals and lavender hidcote: juniper, coriander, angelica, savory and lavender. This product changes color when tonic water is added. | Ireland

Plant Based Artisan Lavender Infused Vegan Honea: This product with dark amber color has been hand-crafted from lavender and inulin, that is a dietary fiber and prebiotic, is said to pair excellently with vegan yogurt, toast, breakfast cereal, salad dressing, pancakes and sweet dishes| Oman

Nu3 Bio Teemischung (Organic Chill Down Tea): described as an evening tea gently balancing with lemon balm, chamomile and lavender, and is free from caffeine, flavoring and additives. This product is said to feature a harmoniously mild taste.| Switzerland

Lavender North America New Product Introductions 2014-2019


90 Lavender Flavored New Product Introductions

NORTH AMERICA FAST FACTS:

NORTH AMERICA accounts for 16% of all lavender flavored new product introductions.

HOT BEVERAGES is the top product sub-category for lavender flavored new products.

HONEY is the top flavor paired with lavender.

Products of Note:

Belle Epicurean Lavender Shortbread Small Batch Cookie & Bar Mix: offer a delicate lavender scented French style butter shortbread with fresh lavender flowers. The gourmet baking mix just requires the addition of fresh eggs and butter. 15% of consumers in our panel responded that they likely or definitely would buy this product, significantly under performing its subcategory. | USA

Snooze & Snuggle Organic Herbal Tea:  features a relaxing blend of chamomile and lavender with hints of cinnamon. This fair trade and organic certified product is kosher certified, and caffeine free. 45% of consumers responded that they likely or definitely would purchase this product, significantly outperforming its subcategory. | USA

Herb Garden Collection Lavender Specialty Vinegar:  This product is said to be naturally flavored and suitable for vegans. 20% of consumers responded that they likely or definitely would purchase this product, significantly under performing its subcategory. | USA


The Takeaways


Lavender is showing consistent growth over the past 5 years and new products are being introduced around the globe. We are also spotting growth in lavender flavored menu items, with fine dining as the top restaurant segment and beverage accounting for 69% of all lavender flavored menu items. For those posting about lavender on social media the words honey, drink, scent, lemon, and favorite are the words most often associated with posts about lavender. The floral flavor profile adds a unique top-note beyond beverages and is being introduced in yogurt, cheese and even confectionary products. The question is—is lavender on your Flavor Radar?

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Sources in full report