Flavor Insight: Matcha

January 31, 2018
Flavor Ingredients Health

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Matcha, also referred to as hiki-cha, is a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. Traditionally, Japanese tea ceremony center on the preparation, serving, and drinking of matcha. The hot tea is said to embody a meditative spiritual style. Today matcha is also used to flavor and dye foods such as mochi and soba noodles.

We’re seeing matcha green tea appear in a plethora of products and recipes, from a squid ink noodle dish to flavored almond milk. Let’s take a look at the various forms of matcha green tea on the menu, in social media, and in new products.

Matcha Print & Social Media Highlights

There are several mentions of matcha in social and print media. Here are some of the highlights.

• While scrolling through Pinterest, matcha pins appear in a wide variety of food and beverage recipes, especially beverages and baked goods. These pins include iced coconut matcha latte, matcha no-bake energy bites, matcha chocolate bark, matcha chia pudding, matcha overnight oats, and matcha banana donuts with matcha lemon glaze.

• A Twitter search shows tweets mentioning matcha, a linked recipe from @ArgemiroElPrimo for “homemade matcha green tea muffins with matcha glaze.” Also mentioned by @LeilaBuffery: a recipe for “vegan matcha green tea cake” with linked video tutorial.

• The September 2017 issue of Shape magazine features a recipe to make Matcha Green Tea Pancakes, a perfect balance of sweet and savory but still healthy. They also recommend pairing the pancakes with a delicious Iced Lavender Matcha Green Tea Latte.

• On the Food Network, 70 recipes appear in a search for matcha. Recipes include matcha blondies, matcha lemonade, matcha herb scones, coconut matcha-cream pie, matcha steamed cod, no-churn matcha ice cream, matcha roast chicken with leeks and matcha and mushroom soup.

Matcha on the Menu

Q3 2016-Q3 2017

• Matcha and Squid Ink Noodles is a dish featuring black squid ink pasta with ginger, hoisin sauce and cucumber at Mission Chinese Food in New York.

• Matcha White Chocolate Mousse with coconut tapioca and topped with cashew brittle from the Peached Tortilla in Austin.
Chicken and Green Tea Waffles use a fluffy matcha Belgian waffle topped with sesame seed chicken from DC’s Ping Pong Dim Sum.

• Ahi Tuna Tartare features emerald shiso apples, cucumber and myoga ginger, melon and citrus pearls, matcha aoli and sesame nori chips from San Fran’s Boulevard.

Global New Product Introductions

Between 2013 and 2017, 1,479 new matcha products were launched. Bakery was by far the top sub-segment

Global Fast Facts

• Asia-Pacific is the top global region for matcha new product introductions with 81% of all new products.

• Cookies, Pastries and Sweet Goods are the top product sub-category globally for matcha flavored new products.

• Red Bean is the top flavor paired with matcha.

Top Matcha Product Categories

• Bakery

• Desserts and Ice Cream

• Sugar and Confectionery

• Dairy

Products of Note

• Qia Quia Hao Nan Ren Matcha Green Tea Flavored Roasted Pumpkin Seeds are made using pumpkin seeds grown in the sand in Xinjiang valley China and cooked with matcha to offer pleasant aroma. China

• Chia-Yo matcha Flavored Homemade Granola is said to be a daily fiber source with high nutrients, cholesterol free, a low sugar content and a great source of energy. Indonesia

• ABK Imogti Your Tea Matcha Green Lager beer Mix includes a blend of beer and lemonade. Germany

• Plecia Hana Moe Japanese-style Parfait with Matcha and Brown Sugar Syrup features matcha mousse topped with whipped ream, cake pieces, red bean paste, brown sugar syrup jelly and matcha sauce. Japan

North America New Product Introductions

From 2013 through 2017, 59 new matcha products launched in North America, with Chocolate Confectionery as the top category.

North America Fast Facts

• NORTH AMERICA accounts for 5% of all matcha flavored new product introductions.

• CHOCOLATE TABLETS are the top product sub-category for matcha flavored new products.

• CHOCOLATE is the top flavor paired with matcha.

Products of Note

• Davids Tea Matcha Matsu Tea-infused hot chocolate on a stick includes matcha-infused hot chocolate mix with marshmallows on a stick. Canada

• Pop & Bottle Matcha Green Tea Almond Milk: This dairy-free and sugar-free drink is sweetened only with organic ingredients including dates. USA

• Takaokaya T-Pops Sweet & Creamy Matcha Green Tea Tokyo-Style Popcorn: This crunchy product is lightly coated with butter and fresh cream and kissed with earthy organic matcha. USA

• Private Selection Matcha-Infused Sea Salt: A kosher certified premium product said to have an aromatic and nutty green flavor. USA

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Sources: Mintel GNPD, Mintel Menu Insights, Pinterest, Twitter, Food Network, Shape, Food Lover’s Companion