Herbs are starting to re-emerge as the kings of flavor, fragrance and wellness.
Uncover the latest herb facts and trends leading the way to this herbal revolution.
Their gaining popularity is accompanied by the realization that many people can easily and quickly grow their fresh herbs at home.
Here is what the latest trends show:
- Demand for herbs and spices will accelerate by 50% over the next decade.
- Herbs and spices are gaining traction as natural, healthier alternatives to chemicals and additives
- Basil, Cilantro, and Dill are among the most in-demand herbs
- Herbs are still used in over 25% of all modern medicine worldwide
- Herbal use in cosmetics to increase by 90% over the next decade
- Quality, availability, and affordability are behind the new wave of organic herb consumption
- New, healthy recipes are another driving force behind the increase in herb consumption
- Herbs that capture the imagination are gaining popularity, such as edible flowers, chervil, lemongrass, sorrel, and tarragon.
- Innovative methods in growing herbs year-round are gaining popularity
1. Increased demand for herbs and spices
Demand for herbs and spices has increased 15% over 5 years and will accelerate by 50% over the next decade.
Consumers worldwide are shifting away from high sugar and fatty foods in favor of healthier, more exotic alternatives; this is a major driving force in herbs and spices sales. (1)
Processed food products, such as soups and sauces, have also led to an increase in demand for herbs and spices. Fast food conglomerates, for example, are using dried herbs to intensify the flavor and color of their products at an increasing rate.
These two forces combined have led to an increase of 15% in demand for herbs and spices between 2016-2021 (1). This growth is expected to accelerate by 50% over the next decade. (1)
2. Herbs and spices as a healthier alternative
Herbs and spices are gaining traction as natural, healthier alternatives to chemicals and additives.
Research shows that diseases caused by toxic chemicals and additives are rising around the world, thereby increasing the demand for natural and fresh ingredients in food and homemade remedies (1).
This increasing demand for healthier alternatives to synthetic products drives demand for fresh and dry herbs and spices.
3. The most used herbs in the world
Basil, Cilantro, and Dill are among the most used herbs in the world
It doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that global demand for freshly grown herbs has been boosted during the pandemic. This trend has been steadily rising for the past two decades, with demand increasing by 10% yearly. But why?
Research shows that diseases caused by toxic chemicals and additives are rising worldwide, increasing the demand for natural and fresh ingredients in food and homemade remedies.
The market for fresh herbs is becoming massive all around the world.
The most used herbs in the world are (3):
What’s great about these herbs is that they are all incredibly versatile in their uses in cooking, scenting, and creating ointments and cocktails.
Additionally, they are easy to cultivate at home. They grow fast and require minimal attention.
While coriander ( or cilantro) is the most commonly used herb in the world, cumin is the most popular spice worldwide (10).
Each country has a specific cuisine and uses different herbs and spices.
4. Herbs in over 25% of all modern medicine
Herbs are still used in over 25% of all modern medicine worldwide (11)
Cough, Diarrhea, and Rash are some of many conditions that specific herbal remedies have combated for centuries (1).
Herbs today are now well known to bring harmony and balance to bodily functions (4), with the pharmaceutical industry employing herbs in 25% of all medicines (5).
While the development of new synthetic compounds has revolutionized modern medicine, 1 in 10 medicines on the WHOs essential medicines list remains exclusively of plant origin (5).
These statistics show a strong herbal influence in modern medicine, further proving the efficacy of herbs in daily remedies for minor issues and ailments.
Among the most powerful medicinal plants (9) are:
- Ginkgo biloba
5. Herbs in cosmetics to increase by 90%
Herbal use in cosmetics to increase by 90% over the next decade
The market for herbal cosmetics is ever-increasing. The market value for this industry is set to surpass $63 billion this year (6).
Increasing usage of beauty products with naturally derived herbal ingredients like lavender, chamomile, rosemary, jojoba oil and aloe vera to treat skin, acne, and hair problems is expected to drive the demand for herbal beauty products through 2031.
Lavender, chamomile, and rosemary lead the way in naturally derived beauty products. These plants are seeing an increase in their usage of treating skin, acne, and hair problems (6).
Moreover, awareness of the benefits of herbs applied to skin and hair is a recently trending phenomenon, with many companies capitalizing on the potent effects of these plants.
6. New wave of organic herbs
Quality, availability and affordability are behind the new wave of organic herb consumption.
The pandemic ignited hundreds of new trends, poised mainly around improving the self, our home and those around us. The growing and purchasing of herbs have thus gained in popularity over the past two years, with a 13% increase in organic grocery sales. This figure is more impressive because over 90% of herbs are categorized as organic (7).
The biggest player in the organic herb transition is basil, with over 40% of herb sales awarded to this herb alone (7).
7. Healthy recipes are another driving force
New, healthy recipes are another driving force behind the increase in herb consumption
New recipes containing fresh herbs are gaining a foothold in our world. The introduction of new flavors and herbs into recipes are leading the way in the herb revolution.
For example, we all know about the abilities of mint to refresh cocktails and summer drinks, but have you heard of drinks infused with basil, lavender or chili? These infusions wouldn’t work half as well if the herbs used weren’t fresh!
The same can be said for drinks, smoothies and other recipes using new herbal concoctions such as chocolate mint, peppermint and lavender.
8. New herbs that started to trend
Herbs that capture the imagination are gaining in popularity, such as edible flowers, chervil, lemongrass, sorrel, and tarragon.
Younger generations are leading the way in this herbal revolution. Herbs that capture all senses, including the visual, are gaining traction among young influencers and their followers.
9. Innovative methods in growing herbs
Innovative methods in growing herbs year-round are gaining popularity
The latest trend shows (8) increased interest in growing medicinal herbs, windowsill herbal tea gardens, and microgreens 365 days a year. Millennials (ages 18 to 34) are using new innovative methods such as tabletop grow kits, new technology in indoor lighting, and home hydroponics systems to produce their crops even in winter.
- Herbs and Spices Market Size Link
- Garden nation: 80% of people are growing their own fruits and veggies to cut food bill Link
- 15 Most Popular Herbs Link
- The importance of plants in the pharmaceutical industry Link
- Herbal Medicine: A growing field with a long tradition Link
- Herbal Beauty Products Market Snapshot Link
- Pandemic Boosts Upward Trend In Sales of Organic Herbs Link
- More herbs, more indoors: Millennials shape gardening trends for 2017 Link
- Nature’s 9 Most Powerful Medicinal Plants and the Science Behind Them Link
- The most used herbs across the globe Link
- Herbs are still used in over 25% of all modern medicine worldwide Link