Yuzu Flavor Insight

July 22, 2019
Click Here for the full report!

With the size of a tangerine, the coloration of an unripe orange and a taste between a lemon and a grapefruit, Yuzu is a fruit often considered an exotic hybrid of the citrus family. Mainly cultivated in Japan and China, it can be a rare sighting in the U.S.. Its incredible fragrance and sour taste means it isn’t usually consumed as-is, but its zest and juice are added into recipes. The delicate floral aroma is a unique addition to many beverages, and bright color adds to the appeal of many dishes. Let’s take some time to become familiar with a flavor that YUZU won’t forget.

Yuzu Overview

We conducted a social listening analysis on yuzu covering the past 6 months. An overview is provided below.
  • 24 mentions per minute
  • 63% female - key consumer voice
  • Popular Hashtags: #fruit #matcha #vegan #japanese #icecream
  • Key consumer interests:
    1. Pop Culture
    2. Nightclubs
    3. Food & Drink

  • Top Post: (Twitter) @cookpad "Yuzu is about to explode in popularity in the United States."

On cookpad.com, 290 recipes appear when you search for yuzu. Recipes include Japanese style chicken patty, prawn toast with yuzu mayo, edamame yuzu hummus, Japanese style baby back ribs and crab & edamame quiche.

Korean Citron Yuzu Tea

A January 2019 post the ‘Oh, How Civilized’ tea blog features a recipe for an herbal caffeine-free citrus tea. The recipe includes yuzu as well as some sugar, honey and white vinegar for rinsing. but can also be served at room temperature. Honey may be used to sweeten but is reported by tea sommeliers to mask the yuzu flavor, so sugar is recommended instead.

Yuzu on the Menu: Q4 2017-Q4 2018

402 Yuzu mentions on the menu

Fine dining is the top segment, with entrée, beverage and appetizer as the top three menu sections with the most yuzu flavored items.


  • Yuzu Cheesecake is offered at Mille Fleurs restaurant located in Rancho Santa Fe. The dessert item features a French twist on the traditionally Japanese ingredient with a yuzu citrus curd and a lemon sorbet.


  • Monkfish Grapeleaves are served at The Sarma Restaurant in Somerville Maryland. This dish features ingredients such as miso avgolemono sauce, maitake mushrooms and puffed rice with yuzu.


  • Tumeric and Sweet Potato Capelletti is a specialty item created by the Flour & Water restaurant for a vegetarian pasta tasting. This Mediterranean dish features a traditional tortellini with sweet potato, chives, turmeric and preserved yuzu vinaigrette.

Yuzu Global New Product Introductions: 2017-2019

356 product introductions featuring yuzu


  • Asia Pacific is the top global region for yuzu new product introductions.
  • RTD Iced Tea is the top subcategory globally for yuzu flavored new products.
  • Lemon is the top flavor paired with yuzu.

Top Yuzu Global New Product Categories

  1. Alcoholic Beverages
  2. Sauces & Seasonings
  3. Meals & Meal Centers
  4. Juice Drinks
  5. RTDs

Product Examples:

YM Yuzu It To Me Pressed Juice: This product from Juice Lab is described as a blend of Goulburn Valley pear, mandarin, grapefruit, ginger, yuzu and ginseng. It retails in a 100% recycled bottle and has a 5/5 health star rating. | Australia

Burro Blueberry Yuzu Lemon Cookies: This product from SweetPlantations is described as a hand-crafted exquisite treat made with the finest ingredients, perfect for any occasion. | Indonesia

Yuzu and Jasmine Tea Flavored Sugar-Free Gum: This product from Wrigley is a segment of the Doublemint brand. This product was released in April of 2019. | China

Yuzu North America New Product Introductions: 2017-2019

18 Product introductions featuring yuzu


  • North America accounts for 5.1% of all yuzu-flavored new product introductions.
  • Carbonated Soft Drinks is the top North American product subcategory for yuzu flavored new products.
  • Lime is the top flavors paired with yuzu.

Top North American Yuzu Product Categories

  1. Carbonated Soft Drinks
  2. Sauces & Seasonings
  3. Alcoholic Beverages
  4. Other Beverages
  5. Chocolate Confectionery

Product Examples:

Yumami Foods Black Bean, Yuzu-Chili with Popped Nori Go-Dip Snack: This product is made with American-grown beans and is kosher certified, GMO, gluten, nut and dairy free. | USA
49% of consumers polled said they would possibly purchase this product, significantly under performing its subcategory.

Sprinkling Yuzu Furikake: Muso From Japan comprises a basic blend of toasted sesame seeds and green nori flakes with dried yuzu citrus zests. It is described as a ready to use table condiment made with only plant-based ingredients. | USA
16% of consumers polled responded that they would possibly purchase this product, under performing its subcategory.

Lemon & Yuzu Truly Spiked & Sparkling Water: This product contains no gluten or natural sweeteners and is 100 calories and contains 1g of sugar per slim can. | USA
21% of consumers responded that they would possibly purchase this product, significantly under performing its subcategory.

The Takeaways

Yuzu and other Japanese ingredients are receiving more attention than ever before. However, yuzu still remains a flavor associated with the luxury, people who mention yuzu online have an average of $8,692 in disposable income. Some consumers said they prefer to use citrus fruits they are familiar with when cooking, however yuzu is considered to be a more unique and premium flavor compared to the rest of the citrus family. There is opportunity for developers to appeal to the market if so desired, but it will require educating them on what yuzu has to offer first.

Click here for the full report!

You deserve more. Let’s get started.

What does true partnership look like? You deserve a flavor partner ready to turn these trends into the tangible.

Let FONA’s market insight and research experts get to work for you. Translate these trends into bold new ideas for your brand. Increase market share and get to your “what’s next.” Our technical 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. Let’s 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 for you — every step of the way. Contact our sales service department at 630.578.8600 to request a flavor sample or visit www.fona.com/contact-fona for more information.

Sources in full report