Herbs Audit

Goals

To audit the Gourmet Garden brand and the Herb market to determine
a. Trends in the herb market;
b. Customer perceptions of herbs;
c. Analysis of placement in-store, including products that have done well in refrigerated perimeter
to build brand awareness and change customer perceptions.

Early Findings

Herbs

  • The Spruce Eats disagrees with several celebrity chefs who use only fresh herbs, and insists that both fresh and dried herbs have their place in the kitchen.
  • Fresh herbs are best when making a raw dish such as green or pasta salad. They are used to add a fresh taste and brightness to a dish. Some herbs lose their flavor when dried, including tarragon, parsley, and chives.
  • Dried herbs, on the other hand, are best in soups, sauces, and stews that will take some time to cook on the stove. Dried herbs should be used over fresh herbs when the cooking time is over 15 minutes, as all the herbs' volatile oils and esters are lost. Some of the most popular dried herbs are oregano, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, curry leaf, and fennel seed.

Customer Perceptions

  • Herbs have the potential to help Americans reach their daily vegetable intake targets as they can mask bitterness and add flavor without the need for additional fat or salt. Herbs have not traditionally been considered a mechanism to assist in increasing daily vegetable intakes.
  • In a nationals survey, garlic (82%), oregano (64%), and basil (61%) were the most popular herbs and spices.
  • Celery powder (24%), mustard seed (24%), and curry (28%) were the least popular.
  • The top three herbs by sales volume are oregano $44 million, parsley $39 million, and basil $36 million.
  • 67% of garlic users are considered high-frequency users.
  • Men are more likely to prefer spicy flavors. Under 50-year-olds preferred the strong flavors of cilantro and mint. People that had higher education were more likely to use herbs and spices, than those that don't.
  • The group using herbs the most in cooking are 18-29-year-olds. Those with Pacific or Asian backgrounds and women are most likely to cook with herbs.
  • Five herbs that are gaining in popularity are shiso, papalo, epazote, lemon balm, and chervil.

Proposed next steps:

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