Ingredient Insight: Peppermint

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Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is a hybrid mint, which can also be known as Cornmint (Menthis arvensis). It is a cross between a watermint and spearmint (Mentha × piperita).

It is a perennial herb, grown mainly in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Massachusetts. Peppermint is usually harvested between July to August. It is picked early in the morning when the oil content is at its peak.

Peppermint first introduced into the US by British settlers in the late 1700s. This was the white Mitcham mint variety from Surrey. The growing areas moved west with time. In the late 1880s, the black Mitcham peppermint variety was introduced from the UK. This became the dominant type. It is more hardy than white mint and the varieties of this are the standard US peppermint oils today. Eventually, peppermint production moved to the north-west region of the US.

North America and Europe have the largest share in the peppermint oil market in terms of value, globally, in which the global market is anticipated to record a 5.2% value CAGR through 2018-2026, according to Digital Day News. Growing health concerns are likely to encourage further growth, especially in natural personal care and household products, owing to its calming scent and antibacterial properties. Asia Pacific is likely to see further growth, along with Latin America, as the food and beverage industry grows at a fast pace.


Peppermint oil is widely used in a variety of applications. The ingredient is often found in confectionery applications such as breath mints and chewing gum.

Owing to greater awareness in self-care, peppermint is also used as a natural herbal remedy to treat everything from digestive issues to a topical application for muscle pain. It is also used in aromatherapy for its fresh and calming scent, as well as in the cosmetics and personal care industry for its cooling properties.

Today consumers are demanding more natural ingredients in the products they buy, to help them live better. As reported by Global Data, 86 percent of consumers globally are interested in beauty/grooming products with a natural claim. They also perceive natural products of a higher quality and better for the environment. This is also similar in the food and beverage industry, with percent of global consumers are interested in food/drink with natural claims, with 66 percent actively buying such products, according to Global Data.

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