Trending Botanicals in Food and Beverage

As we enter an age where more and more people are becoming health-conscious, folks are looking beyond just exercise and nutrition and turning to herbs and supplements to enhance their healthy lifestyle. As botanicals make their way into the mainstream now more than ever, businesses have a wonderful opportunity to provide consumers with functional food and beverages. While this may seem like a niche market, FoodNavigator USA states that “It began with startup companies, but now we are seeing massive interest from some of the largest CPG food and beverage companies in the world.*” Let’s face it, botanicals are here to stay. As we move into the new year, here are some of the trending botanicals that are making their way into food and beverages:


One herb that is making its way into the food and beverage market at an accelerating rate is hibiscus. Hibiscus is a plant that is native to tropical regions all around the world. You may be familiar with “Agua de Jamaica” or Hibiscus tea, which is a popular tea throughout Mexico. What makes hibiscus so alluring is its rich and vibrant pink color and sweet, tart flavor, which points to its high vitamin C content and antioxidant levels. However, vitamin C is not the only thing it brings to the table. Hibiscus is cooling, relaxing and an excellent herb to support heart health. It is an ideal herb to incorporate into whole food vitamin C powder blends, drink mixers, kombucha, and is even being found in collagen and yogurt blends on the market right now.

Learn more and how to use Hibiscus » Buy Hibiscus


We all know, immune support has been on our minds more than ever the past few years and if any herb deserves the spotlight this year, it has to be Elderberry. Elderberries have traditionally been used in food and beverages for a very long time, but only until recently have they been given the attention they deserve. Companies are turning to elderberries to create everything from jams, honeys, wine, syrup, gummies, juices, kombucha, sauces, and powdered extracts. Rightfully so, elderberry is one of the best herbs to incorporate into our regimen for boosting our immune system. It can help inhibit the spread of viral infections and has been shown to help shorten the duration and severity of colds and flus.

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Valerian root is one of the best known herbs for relaxing the nervous system and who doesn’t need that? This potent nervine is often used to support stress, tension, insomnia and muscle pain. While valerian has the tendency to be used primarily in teas, tinctures and capsules due to its intense aromatic and earthy quality, it is not the only way to use it. Due to the ever increasing need for stress and sleep support, companies are now finding creative ways of incorporating this herb into honeys, gummies and drinks. It is commonly mixed with additional calming botanicals such as hops, skullcap or passionflower.

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Another herb that has been gaining traction and packs a big punch is Chamomile, or more specifically German Chamomile. Chamomile is a delicate flower that has a honey-like sweetness with subtle hints of apple. It is cooling, relaxing and if steeped long enough has a slightly bitter quality to it that makes it wonderful for digestion. Because chamomile is a gentle herb that can not only calm the nerves but also settle the stomach, many companies are turning to it to add to their food and beverages. Some companies are infusing chamomile into their sparkling beverages. While this herb is often seen in teas, it is a perfect herb to infuse into honeys, syrups, herbal tea lattes, baked goods, cocktails (or mocktails) and chocolate.

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So if you’ve been on the fence about how to move your business into the new year, look no further than some of these incredible botanicals to take your products to the next level.

If you need any support in sourcing herbs, please feel free to reach out to us. At Herb Co. we pride ourselves on providing high quality herbs and spices to small businesses at wholesale prices.