Flavor Behavior and Common Scents

Flavor Behavior
Flavor Behavior

Should flavors be in the mix for your brand?

Tastes and smells sell. While visuals grab consumer attention, the sensual experience makes memories. Consumable goods should appeal to all the senses; maybe more so for cannabis products. Cannabis consumers often judge quality by a big whiff of flower before purchase, regardless of strain or pedigree.

But how can you smell the difference between vape cartridges? What about consumers who crave fun flavors and fancy, herbal concoctions—or just don’t enjoy the taste of cannabis oil when they vape? How do you know the flavors that will fit your product and tantalize the consumer?


“We’re seeing a lot of popularity with sweets, such as dessert and cereal flavors for the e-juice/vaping segment,” said Maggie Ward, director of product development for Green Taste Flavors. The company specializes in formulating flavors, primarily for the e-juice and beverage markets. “Ginger and matcha flavors have been big. We’ve also seen a resurgence in classic cocktail flavors and craft sodas such as cola and root beer.”

Emerald Farms’s Fruit Lust vape line, composed of a proprietary blend of organic cannabis oil and plant terpenes, is drenched with natural, authentic flavors like apple, pineapple, and raspberry. Makes sense, right? Regional cannabis farmers offering an orchard of juicy favorites, handcrafted with organic ingredients. That’s a natural product extension with wholesome, artisanal appeal.

Organic and natural ingredients are a priority to many cannabis patients, consumers, and manufacturers. In the world of flavor formulation, Ward said, “Certified organic flavors have to adhere to the same guidelines as any other organic item on the market, such as an organic apple or an organic beverage. Natural flavors are derived from a natural source.”

Marketing data indicates women are especially affected by scents and flavors. Yummi Karma is taking full advantage of that data to target sought-after female demographics with its High Gorgeous cannabis-infused topicals and soon-to-launch vape line.

Green Taste Flavors formulated the High Gorgeous signature vape tastes to complement topical products in the line. Product names are evocative, too: Pina-Co-Canna, Nice Buns, Sugar High, and High-biscus. Fashionably fun and full of feminine appeal, the flavor approach falls in line with Yummi Karma’s retail and marketing strategies.

“We have flavor chemists that will create custom flavors for clients,” Ward explained. “Our flavor library is in the thousands, but we’re creating new and custom flavors every day. We also have product development technologists that will develop a finished product based on the clients’ concept and specifications. We take their ideas and bring them to fruition.”

Fruition—get it? No pun intended, but it’s hard to resist (the pun and) a big, juicy strawberry or watermelon or peach flavor. And what about sriracha-mango-sesame?

Flavor technology company Sensory Effects develops flavor profiles for the food industry. The company recently revealed its flavor trend predictions for 2017, which included local/artisan/crafts flavors, limited-time offerings (like Bath & Body Works briefly bringing back classic cucumber-melon), ethnic and worldly flavors, “clean” labeling and ingredients, the savory/spicy/sweet mashup, and essences of tropical fruits and flowers.