Daisy Li
Daisy is an Associate Director with the Mintel Food & Drink team, speciliasing in the China market. She monitors and reports on the latest innovation and trends impacting the Chinese food and drink market.

Smell is the second sensor that creates experience. For food and beverage, it may be an opportunity for innovation that deserves attention in the future. The aroma of food can have a powerful impact on the overall consumer experience, both consciously and unconsciously. The aroma of a pleasant food or beverage can lead to a delightful taste experience and can also help improve mood.

Today, we will share with you some cases we have seen from the Chinese and Japanese markets, and hope to bring you some inspiration:

Using the aroma of flavored drinks as a remedy for healing

For example, in July 2020, the Chinese tea brand HEYTEA and MANITO collaborated to create the Black Gold Gift Box, which contains a grape-scented candle and grape-scented liquid fragrance. Incorporating unique raw materials, the well-known taste of HEYTEA beverage is made into a healing fragrance, which resembles sun-kissed grapes that meet the sweetness of ripe raspberries.

In Japan, many ready-to-drink teas began to use aroma as a product selling point

In recent years, the Japanese market has seen a growth in the aromatic tea category, with “aromatic teas” such as roasted tea, bitter melon tea and jasmine tea all gaining popularity for their pleasant natural aroma. The healthy and pleasant natural aroma not only enhances the consumer’s enjoyment of the product but also provides a relaxing spiritual experience.

Unique aroma extracted by high-temperature extraction method

Using tea leaves selected from all over Japan and extracted at high temperatures, Hojicha achieves a unique aroma and a firm flavor without astringency or bitterness.

Aroma of special tea varieties

Itoen released a new oolong tea drink in July 2020 in pursuit of “tea with aroma”. The oolong tea variety used this time has a rich and sweet aroma, a bright reddish-brown light blue color (suishoku) and refreshing astringency. It has a memorable aftertaste and the authentic flavor of oolong tea.

Regionally limited floral aroma

The lavender-scented green tea uses Hokkaido Furano lavender and refreshing roasted green tea, which provides a refreshing and elegant taste. With a slightly bitter taste, consumers can feel soothed and healed by the rich aroma of lavender.

Deliver a fresh experience through fruity aroma

Raw orange tea is a fruit-flavored tea with an umami taste and additive-free quality that allows consumers to enjoy the aroma of fresh oranges. The aroma of raw oranges is transferred to black tea using seasonally harvested blood oranges and a new manufacturing method patented by Itoen (Patent No. 6700641).

What we think

The aroma of ingredients is a very important sensory experience in consumer experience. In addition, the aroma of ingredients is also an important aspect for consumers to judge the freshness and healthiness of ingredients. At present, in terms of consumer communication, there are few products with aroma as a product feature or communication direction. Ready-to-drink tea, and even more food and beverage categories, can pay more attention to the smell/aroma s a product entry point or point of difference.