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DataBite: Turmeric takes the spotlight



Google recently released its 2016 Food Trends report, giving us a glimpse into what everyone’s cooking, buying and ordering.

Since most of America is regularly Googling meals, recipes and ingredients, the search giant sits on a wealth of information about what flavors and foods are trending. The report digs into five of these trending themes -- from pho to pasta to pork shoulder -- but one stood out to us: Turmeric. Turmeric is part of a larger trend -- a growing interest in the health-enhancing role of specific foods, or what experts call “functional foods.”

Turmeric is a bright yellow, aromatic powder that comes from the turmeric plant, which is part of the ginger family. It’s the main spice in curry and has a warm, bitter taste. It’s frequently used to flavor or color mustards, butters and cheese. But it’s also used widely for medicinal purposes, as some believe it helps manage high cholesterol and reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis.

According to Google, interest in this functional ingredient grew 56 percent from November 2015 to January 2016. In the U.S., people are trying to understand how to consume turmeric, searching for forms (powder, root), recipes (juice, smoothie) or type (fresh, organic).

As searches for turmeric rise and interest in its potential health benefits pique consumer interest, it’s likely we’ll see health-conscious brands introduce more turmeric-powered foods (think: turmeric ginger beverages and turmeric energy bars).

But we’re not quite there...yet.

We searched the Label Insight product data engine for turmeric. It appears as an ingredient in over 7,500 grocery products. It’s most often found in categories like mustard, rice mixes, spices, dehydrated soup mixes, pickles and barbecue sauce. However, categories like energy bars, health and recovery drinks, powders and supplements, and juices and smoothies don’t appear in the top 50...yet. (Like we said, we anticipate brands will be jumping on this trend.)

Are you a food manufacturer with a focus on functional ingredients? Or maybe you just want to know what ingredients are trending in your category? Either way, Label Insight is here to assist. Schedule a demo today to see how we help leading retailers and food brands get smart about product data.

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