Flavor Focus: Lavender

When you think of Lavender, you probably think of the popular essential oil used in aromatherapy, candles, and other household products. However, the use of lavender flavor is increasing in popularity in beverages from teas to milks to cocktails and even food. 

Lavender was—and still is—cultivated for perfumes, cosmetics, and topical ointments. Today, it is widely used in aromatherapy to help treat nerves, anxiety, and restlessness and to help promote sleep, relaxation, and wellness. Culinary lavender elevates both sweet and savory dishes, offering citrus, rosemary, and herbaceous mint notes. The lavender plant is actually a member of the mint family!

You can find lavender flavor in black, green, and herbal teas and paired with rich, creamy cheeses like those made from goat and sheep’s milk. It also makes a lovely aromatic: you may notice a floral whiff coming off of flans, custards, sorbets, and simple syrups, or see a sprig of lavender decorating a cocktail. Lavender is especially wonderful in baking: lavender cupcakes and scones are a staple of trendy boulangeries. 

These days, wellness and good rest are more important than ever, and consumers are demanding food and beverage products that are not only nutritious but also have mental health benefits. Vitamins, nutrients, and mood-boosting natural compounds, like those found in lavender oil, promote overall wellbeing and a healthy state of mind. 

According to Mintel, “As mood and emotional wellbeing become as important as physical wellbeing, brands have started innovating food and drink products that contribute to feelings of pleasure, satisfaction, mood enhancement and calming.” 

Consumers see dairy drinks as a key part of their routine to stay healthy. More than half (54%) of US consumers agree that a healthy morning starts with milk. In particular, consumers view milk’s protein and calcium content as important for physical health. Dairy drinks can stimulate new growth opportunities by showing consumers how milk benefits mental as well as physical health. Consumers now link the two as 77% of UK consumers agree that physical health is crucial to good mental health.

There is an opportunity for product developers to use vitamins, minerals, botanical, and other ingredients that are believed to offer calm and sleep benefits. Variety packs are a good way to provide consumers with several choices of mood-enhancing ingredients depending on their emotional state. While chamomile remains the most popular ingredient for relaxation, lavender and ginger are quickly gaining popularity. 

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Lavender flavors are being widely used in everything from dairy goods to teas to CBD products. In fact, it’s on track to oust chamomile as the number one herbal flavor used to promote relaxation and wellness. 

Health and wellness remain at the forefront of the beverage industry as many consumers turn to healthier options in the wake of COVID-19. While immune health is very much in the spotlight, there is a clear need for products that support physical and mental wellness.

What will you create with Trilogy?

754801 — Lavender Ext Nat(W/S) — Beverage 0.10% — Typical of Lavender Flowers (floral, green, violet)

Trilogy Flavors, Inc.