Flavor Insight: Dandelion

March 31, 2021
Flavor Trends

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The dandelion is one of the most common and recognizable varieties of edible weeds and is very versatile. The leaves have a slightly bitter and tangy flavor that can be used similarly to spinach. The flowers are also edible and can be used to infuse honey, vinegars. syrups, ice cream and jellies. We are spotting global growth in dandelion flavored new products, especially in the beverage segment. Dandelion is also popping up on restaurant menus as an abundant edible weed. Let’s take a closer look at various forms of dandelion on the menu, in social media, and in new products.

Dandelion Social Listening Summary

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

  • 5,381 mentions in the past year

  • 77% female—key consumer voice

Popular Posts

Twitter: @WilflifeMag posted a recipe for how to make dandelion syrup (aka dandelion honey) with a hashtag of #foraging Friday. A great explanation of what can/can’t be used from the dandelion as well as other cooking uses such as sautéing with garlic, fried and even baked into bread.

Twitter: @seriouseats posted a recipe for Cumin-Scented Lentils with Sausage and Dandelion Greens. The wilted dandelions are added last and said to balance out the sweet heat from the cumin seeds and sausage combination.

Featured in Food & Wine Magazine: Bucatini with Mushroom Ragù, Dandelion Greens, and Tarragon

According to the recipe, “this meatless ragù gets rich flavor from dried morel mushrooms in this first-course pasta that’s hearty without being filling. A medium bunch of dandelion greens are boiled with the pasta for their last minute of cooking and then all stirred together with the sauce.

Dandelion on the Menu: Q2 2019 - Q2 2020

32 dandelion mentions on the menu

Fine dining is the top restaurant segment, with beverage as the top menu sections with the most dandelion flavored items. Beverages account for 88% of all dandelion flavored menu items.

Menu Mentions

  • Fine Dining: Dandelion Ginger Rishi Sparkling Tea at Fruition Restaurant in Denver, CO

  • Casual Dining: Yukon Gold Potatoes with Dandelion Green Pesto at Serious Pie in Seattle, WA

  • Casual Dining: Dixie Medley with bourbon, dandelion honey, citrus, apricot and grapefruit bitters at Five & Ten in Athens, GA

On Foodnetwork.com, 71 recipes appear when you search for dandelion. Recipes include sauteed dandelion greens, a sophisticated recipe for a honey crisp apple, cheddar and dandelion crostini, as well as adding it to gumbo in Rachael Ray’s Dandelion Green Gumbo with Good Thyme Rice.

Edible Weed Appearing on Restaurant Menus

According to US Foods, “Edible weeds or foraged and wild and foraged greens—form sassafras and purslane to milkweed and dandelion—are becoming walk-in staples much like ramps and fiddlehead ferns.” Touted as being healthy and cost-effective, they are an easy add to any dish. Dandelions are readily available and add a slight bitterness and can compliment rich flavors and even proteins.

Dandelion Global New Product Introductions 2015-2020

251 global new products

Global Fast Facts:

  • EUROPE is the top global region for dandelion new product introductions with 54% of all new products.
  • TEA is the top product sub-category globally for dandelion flavored new products.
  • LEMON is the top flavor paired with dandelion globally.

Products of Note:

Clipper Organic Dandelion Infusion: Made with pure ingredients and said to use only the highest-quality sources, to add nothing artificial naturally caffeine-free product is described as natural, light, distinctive, fair and delicious. | Ghana

Ya Yin Le Dandelion Nutritious Milk Rice Cereal: Contains multiple nutrients and is easy to prepare. It is said to be processed according to a scientific technique to make the rice cereal delicate and easy to digest and absorb. | China

Gewürzmühle Brecht Basic Bitter Seasoning Mix: 100% natural and made with dandelion, beetroot and artichokes said to bring the high-quality bitter substances back into food in a natural way. Recommended to be added to muesli, smoothies, juices, dressings and yogurt. | Germany

Dandelion North America New Product Introductions 2015-2020

26 dandelion flavored new product introductions

North America Fast Facts:

  • NORTH AMERICA accounts for 17% of all dandelion flavored new product introductions.
  • TEA is the top product sub-category in North America for dandelion flavored new products.
  • BURDOCK is the top flavor paired with dandelion in North America.

Products of Note:

Natalie’s Orchard Island Juice Co. Cold-Pressed Purify Juice Beverage with Blood Orange, Grapefruit and Dandelion & Ginger: Plant-based and clean label product contains 99% of juice and is a blend of citrus, ginger and dandelion.

36% of consumers stated they would likely or definitely buy this product. |USA

Kiss Me Organics Raw Organic Dandelion Root Detox Tea: Contains organic hibiscus petals and Ceylon cinnamon to enhance the flavor, organic dandelion root to aid in digestion.

27% of consumers stated they would likely or definitely buy this product. | USA

Teecino Gluten Free Dandelion Coconut Medium Roasted Organic Chicory Herbal Tea:  A rich and roasted herbal tea made with coconut and orange peel accent roasted dandelion. French chicory, the roasted root often added to coffee, is blended with dandelion, the renowned detox herb, and Spanish carob, famed for the chocolaty flavor, to make a delicious cup of tea that is smoother, richer and creamier.

18% of consumers stated they would likely or definitely buy this product. | USA

The Takeaways

Dandelion is showing consistent growth with new products appearing around the globe. Looking beyond dandelions that are known for simply being a nuisance in your green grass, dandelions offer balance to rich dishes and a great substitute for spinach and other greens. Dandelions are a great way to use something that is so readily available and versatile to be used in sweet and savory items alike. The questions is—is dandelion on your Flavor Radar?

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