Consumers perceive botanical flavors as offering emotional as well as physical health benefits

A survey of more than 6,500 consumers across 12 countries conducted by Kerry revealed botanicals appeal to 97% of consumers globally for their familiar flavors, unique taste experiences and perceived physical benefits – including digestion, cognition, heart health and others – and emotional connections, such as peaceful, energetic and fun.

Interest in these benefits, and botanicals more broadly, have fueled a 47% increase in beverages containing botanical extracts between 2017 and last year, according to Kerry, which predicts the global market for botanical beverages and foods will reach $1.48tn by 2025.

Manufacturers hoping to tap into this growth can do so by leveraging rising consumer interest in mental and emotional wellness and the positive connections they make with botanical ingredients, according to Kerry’s global taste marketing director Leigh-Anne Vaughan.

She notes that botanical flavors connect with consumers at a very positive level, beyond flavor and taste, and that negative emotions – such as boring or disappointing – rarely are associated with botanicals.

According to Kerry’s research, consumers associate botanicals with being energetic, interesting, trustworthy, safe, peaceful and fun.

For example, the top botanical flavors associated with being energetic are guarana, ginseng and ginger; the three most ‘interesting’ flavors are cardamom, bergamot and acerola; while fun and exciting are associated with raspberry, passion fruit and blueberry or guarana, passion fruit and saffron, respectively.

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