Flavor Insight: A Look at Lucuma

September 11, 2017
Dessert Flavor Ingredients Trends

Although not known everywhere, the lucuma is show clear growth on the global level. This very powerful superfood is said to be great for improving cardiovascular strength, skin and digestive health. An Incan favorite, it’s full of beta carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium and protein, all in one package. With its maple-like flavor, it is often a great addition to smoothies, baked goods or ice cream. Commonly available in powder form, the fruit can also make a healthy afternoon snack.

Let’s take a look at the various forms of lucuma on the menu, in social media, and in new products.

Lucuma: A Novel Delight

Print & Social Media Highlights

There are several mentions of lucuma in social media. Here are some of the highlights.

• On Pinterest, lucuma pins appear in a wide variety of food and beverage recipes, especially baked goods. We spotted an artisan vegan chocolate raw cacao & lucuma bite, lucuma ice cream, cashew and lucuma fudge, strawberries with lucuma custard cream and lucuma vanilla protein bliss balls. Additional recipes include earl grey waffles with sweet lucuma coconut cream, lucuma and Maca chocolate protein frosty, berry lucuma acai smoothie bowl and lucuma pancakes.

• A Twitter search shows tweets mentioning lucuma including one by @juliemontagu: “Looking for a healthy Christmas dinner-party dessert? Try my avocado, chocolate and lucuma mousse!” including a recipe from her blog The Flexi Foodie. In addition, @NYR_Ireland says “Health tip: sprinkle lucuma powder on your yogurt for breakfast! It works as a natural digestive tonic for healthy digestion!”

• On Food.com, only one recipe appears when you search for lucuma, for a lucuma banana smoothie.

We are also spotting lucuma in print publications. Here are some of the highlights.

• In September 2016, Fresh Plaza highlighted the dramatic increase in Peruvian imports to the U.S., specifically fruit. According to the article, there was a 17% increase in exports from June of 2015 through June of 2016. The lucuma was one of the hot items on this list of exports that can be found in many American stores today.

Lucuma on the Menu

We're spotting four mentions of lucuma on restaurant menus nationwide, with casual dining as the top restaurant segment.

• S’mores with lucuma ice cream- Sushi Samba
• Lucuma compote & chocolate- Paiche
• Matcha green tea crepe with lucuma mousse & spiced chocolate sauce- Paiche
• Lucuma Suspiro- Stephan Pyles

Lucuma: Can it be the next Superfruit?

Known as “Gold of the Incas,” this nutritive fruit is the most popular ice cream flavor in its homeland of Peru, according to Mintel reports. However, the applications here in the United States are more along the lines of nutritive bars, shakes, smoothies and health supplements. Due to its high content of beta carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium and antioxidants, it is a great addition to functional foods and dietary supplements. Whether it qualifies as a “superfruit” or not is up to the consumer, but the functionality and variety of applications are all present. Source: Nutrition Business Journal

Lucuma Global New Product Introductions

Globally, there were 62 new lucuma products with Dairy-Based frozen products as the top sub-category.
Products of Note

• Peru: Chocolate Coated Vanilla Cookie and Lucuma Flavor Meringue
• Czech Republic: Dried Porridge Mix with Goji and Lucuma
• UK: Coconut & Lucuma 74% Organic Dark Chocolate

Lucuma North America New Product Introductions

We spotted only three lucuma product intros in North America, showing that global growth of lucuma has not quite taken off in North America yet.
Products of Note

• Sustainable Indulgence Pecan Maple Bliss Premium Cookies Featuring Lucuma Powder

• Fine & Raw Lucuma & Vanilla Flavored Chocolate

• Williams- Sonoma Lucuma Protein Smoothie Mixer


Let FONA’s market insight and research experts translate these trends into product category ideas for your brand. They can help you with concept and flavor pipeline development, ideation, consumer studies and white space analysis to pinpoint opportunities in the market.

Our flavor and product development experts are also at your service to help meet the labeling and flavor profile needs for your products to capitalize on this consumer trend. We understand how to mesh the complexities of flavor with your brand development, technical requirements and regulatory needs to deliver a complete taste solution. From concept to manufacturing, we’re here every step of the way. Contact our Sales Service Department at 630.578.8600 to request a flavor sample or visit www.fona.com.

Sources: Mintel GNPD, Mintel Menu Insights, Flavor & The Menu, Pinterest, Twitter, Food.com, Nutrition Business Journal, Fresh Plaza