Flavor Insight: Elderberry

January 29, 2021
Flavor Trends

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Elderberry is a purple-tart fruit of the elder tree and is known for boosting the immune system and widely used in vitamins and supplements. A little digging shows the top product sub-category within elderberry flavored new product introductions is tea. Elderberry has been showing growth around the world with a 51% increase in new product introductions. Europe is the key region for new product releases with 75% of all elderberry flavored new products. Is elderberry right for your product? Let’s take a closer look at the various forms of elderberry on the menu, in social media, and in new products.

Elderberry Social Listening Summary


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

  • 17,077 mentions in the past year
  • 65% female voice
Key words
  1. Zinc
  2. Vitamin C
  3. Vitamin D

Popular Posts

Instagram: @loveles posted saying “Vitamin C, Zinc, Elderberry the holy trinity.”

31 elderberry recipes on food.com

On Food.com, 31 recipes appear when you search for elderberry. Recipes include baked goods such as pie, dumplings, muffins and even fritters as well as jellies, marinades and ketchup. There are even recipes for a DIY elderberry cough syrup and wine.

Elderberry Mainstream Success

According to an article featured in Nutritional Outlook, elderberry is showing great mainstream success. According to SPINS, “elderberry continues to show impressive growth within the cold and flu category, rising in sales by a whopping 116% to nearly $63 million in 2019, while other ingredients in the category only showed modest growth or even decline.”

Elderberry on the Menu: Q4 2018 - Q4 2019

28 elderberry mentions on the menu

Quick Service is the top restaurant segment, with beverage, appetizer and dessert the top the top three menu sections with the most elderberry-flavored items. Beverages account for 86% of all elderberry-flavored menu items.


  • Cascade Brewing Company Elderberry Sour at Fearrington House Restaurant in Fearrington Village, NC
  • Oysters on the Half Shell with Elderberry-Yuzu Mignonette at Michael Mina in San Francisco, CA
  • Organic Blueberry Jam Tea with a blend of black tea, elderberries and cornflowers at David’s Tea nationwide

Flavor of the Week: Elderberry

Featured in Restaurant Hospitality Magazine

This article details how elderberry can be used on the menu as a versatile flavor that works in desserts, jams and wine. In addition, “The elderberry flavor is found on less than 1% of American menus, according to market research firm Datassential, but its occurrence has risen by more than a third in the past four years. It can be found on mostly fine-dining menus and equally found at independents and chains.”

Elderberry Global New Product Introductions 2015-2020

492 Elderberry flavored new product introductions


  • EUROPE is the top global region for elderberry new product introductions with 75% of all new products.
  • TEA is the top product sub-category globally for elderberry flavored new products.
  • BLUEBERRY is the top flavor paired with elderberry globally.

Products of Note:

Rewe Beste Wah Elder & Mint Flavored Herbal Tea: Described as a spicy and fresh herbal tea flavored with elderberry. | Germany

Bakoma Bakus Odpornosc Raspberry-Elderberry Flavored Drinking Yogurt: Includes additional bacterial cultures, enriched in vitamins to help the immune system. | Poland

WonderLab Blueberry & Elderberry Meal Replacement Milkshake: Made with French pomegranate juice powder and marine fish skin collagen oligopeptide powder. This product contains 5000 mg of collagen, 23.6 g of protein. | China

Elderberry North America New Product Introductions 2015-2020

69 Elderberry Flavored New Product Introductions


  • NORTH AMERICA accounts for 14% of all elderberry flavored new product introductions
  • VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS is the top product sub-category in North America for elderberry flavored new products.
  • 70% of all elderberry new product introductions in North America do not include elderberry paired with another flavor.

Products of Note:

Vermont Organic Maple Syrup Cheese Pairing Collection with Elderberry Infused Maple Syrup: Described as a collection of barrel-aged, infused and smoked maple syrups to pair with any cheese. 28% of consumers stated that they would likely or definitely buy this product. | USA

Numi Organics Daily Super Shot Pomegranate, Elderberry & Cayenne Immune Support Daily Super Shot: Contains power fruits including pomegranate and elderberry, super herb like rooibos and beneficial spices such as cayenne and cinnamon. 29% of consumers stated that they would likely or definitely buy this product. | USA

Bionade Elderberry Carbonated Soft Drink: This product has been naturally fermented and contains 2% fruit juice. 34% of consumers stated that they would likely or definitely buy this product. | USA

The Takeaways

Elderberry is showing consistent growth over the past 5 years with new products appearing across the globe. We are also spotting growth in elderberry flavored menu items, with quick service restaurants as the top restaurant segment with beverages accounting for 86% of all elderberry flavored menu items. The flavor profile adds a unique sweet and tart profile that pairs best with berries and citrus flavors. With consumers highly interested in boosting their immune system, elderberry is gaining awareness with consumers around the world. The question is—is elderberry on your Flavor Radar?

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Sources in full report