The Rise of Botanicals

The Rise of Botanicals

Here's a fresh look at using botanicals—including replacing additives with botanicals for a cleaner label and focusing on key benefits like immunity and mood.

Highlights

  • Botanicals can help replace additives for clean labels.
  • Pairing botanicals with micronutrients allows brands to expand their options for product claims.
  • Immunity, mood, gut microbiome, blood sugar, and beauty are focus areas for botanicals.

What Are Botanicals?

A botanical is a plant or component of a plant (such as the leaf, root, bark, or extract) valued for its flavor, aroma, or therapeutic properties. With more consumers embracing the natural and healthy image of botanicals, the popularity of botanicals in foods, beverages, and supplements is growing.

How Botanicals Support a Clean Label

In foods and beverages, botanicals are often used to deliver the characterizing flavor—as in a jasmine tea, lavender latte, or cinnamon bun. However, some botanicals can provide broader applications due to their functional properties. In many cases, manufacturers can replace artificial additives with natural botanicals to create a clean-label product.

Pectin and locust bean gum are natural, plant-based thickeners, while rosemary and oregano extracts are effective antioxidants that delay fat oxidation and extend shelf life. Turmeric and paprika are examples of botanicals that can replace artificial colors for a more appealing ingredient label, while supporting a natural claim.

botanicals

Benefits of Blending Botanicals with Micronutrients

Many botanicals are used in wellness-focused products, such as dietary supplements and functional beverages, due to their longstanding associations with certain health benefits. Products containing elderberry or echinacea, for example, grew immensely popular during the pandemic as consumers sought ways to boost their immunity against this new threat.

Though consumers may have an understanding of which botanicals can help with different health conditions, the absence of approved health claims for many botanicals can make it challenging for brands to communicate a product’s benefits. Pairing botanicals with micronutrients that have proven health benefits (such as zinc, which supports a healthy immune system) offers a solution.

Learn how we formulate custom premixes with the health benefits your consumers are seeking.

Botanicals Linked to Health Benefits

Brands incorporating botanicals into their products will gain the most traction by focusing on botanicals linked to the top health and wellness concerns of today. For immunity, this includes elderberry, echinacea, ginger, and ashwagandha, an adaptogen used in Ayurvedic medicine. Ashwagandha and other adaptogens like rhodiola, bacopa, ginseng, and holy basil are also popular in mood food for mood support and mental wellness.

woman drinking tea

Key botanicals showing up in products to support the gut microbiome are curcumin (also associated with joint support) and dandelion root, which is rich in the prebiotic fiber inulin. Fenugreek seeds and cinnamon continue to be studied for their potential to regulate blood sugar levels, while rosemary, green tea, and flaxseed (high in omega-3s) are just a few of the botanicals popular in today’s beauty-from-within products.

Your Premix Partner

The strong appeal of botanicals as a natural way to support health makes this the perfect time for brands to consider incorporating botanicals into their next food, beverage, or supplement product. Our custom premix solutions offer a simple way to create a blend of botanicals, vitamins, minerals, and more—unique to your brand—that will meet the wellness needs of your consumers. Contact us to learn how we can help you develop your next winning product.

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