Why is it so difficult to make a good "Natural Honey Flavor"?


A ‘Natural Honey Flavor’ that tastes like honey? Yeah, right.
— Said every food scientist ever

If you've ever screened industrial honey flavors, you know how difficult it is to find a good one. Supplier after supplier claims that they have "the best" honey flavor, but after your lab screens their flavors, you're often left with disappointment.

But before you ask yourself, "Why is it so difficult to find a good honey flavor?", it might be important to understand how they're made.


The difficulty in making a honey flavor


1. Since honey is a natural, agricultural foodstuff -- pollen, bees, climate, soil, air quality, available plant-types, etc. play a huge role in overall character -- it makes nailing a generic "honey" flavor extremely tough.

2. Honey has regional flavor preferences. The U.S. prefers more of a "clover style" honey, while China generally prefers a lighter, more floral style honey.

3. "Natural Honey Flavors" are typically "flavor-types" and rarely contain any real honey (this drives up cost and concentrating honey changes the flavor profile). Click here to learn what a "flavor-type" is. Nevertheless, "Natural Honey Flavor WONF's" do exist, allowing a label of "Natural Honey Flavor", but there is no FDA regulation on how much honey must be included -- a flavor manufacturer could use 0.0001% honey or 50% honey, and as long as it contains any amount of real honey, it can be labeled as a "Natural Honey Flavor". Click here to learn what a flavor "WONF" is.

4. Ultimately, many flavorists agree that the most difficult part of creating a good "Natural Honey Flavor", is finding the right balance of natural flavoring compounds to replicate real honey. It's an art. Playing with a modge-podge of unique nuances -- from sweet caramelic brown to floral -- and smokey to slight woody. To name a few: 


  • Phenyl acetic acid notes
  • Alicyclic ketones
  • Beeswax concentrate (Apis mellifera, FEMA 2126)
  • 2-Phenyl ethanol (rosey)
  • Hotrienol (elderflower)
  • Phenyl acetaldehyde propylene glycol acetal (Hyacinth)
  • Linalol oxide (tea notes)
  • 1,3-Diphenyl acetone (fruity / bitter nutty)
  • 4-Prop 1-enyl phenol (smokey)

we screened 67 Honey flavors to find the best


If you haven't screened tons of industrial honey flavors, let us save you some time.

Our team screened 67 different honey flavors from the industry's top flavor companies. Click here to learn how to screen a flavor properly. Nearly all the flavors we screened were far too floral-forward and lacked the proper, rounded flavor and aromatic depth of real honey. 


But one particular "Natural Honey Flavor Type" stood out (labels as "Natural Flavor"). 

We then put the winning "Natural Honey Flavor" through the rigors. It was tested in numerous applications -- from chilled beverage to high-temp bake -- and it still held up beautifully, representing an authentic, rounded honey flavor and aroma. 

We were so impressed with this honey flavor that we presented it to other flavor companies to get their thoughts. What did we hear time and time again?:

That’s the best honey flavor I’ve ever seen.

(So yeah, it's pretty good.)

So, Who Made the winning honey flavor?


The winning honey flavor was created by Prova. It wasn't easy for Prova to create their honey flavor though. Their lab spent over 10 years perfecting it. And boy, does it show.

Who is Prova?

They're a French flavor company, regarded as a leading expert in sweet brown flavors. Prova has earned its reputation by placing quality on a pedestal and never lowering the bar -- it's this type of thinking that is disrupting the U.S. sweet brown flavor market. Click here to learn more about Prova.

The winning "Natural Honey Flavor" is Available In:


  • Water-Soluble Liquid

  • Oil-Soluble Liquid

  • Spray-Dried Powder


Fit for the following applications:

  • Meat Glazes

  • Sauces 

  • Snacks

  • Alcohol

  • Bakery

  • Beverage

  • Confections


Want a free sample?


This honey flavor is the real deal. We'd love to see if you agree. Fill in the below form, and we'll get you a sample asap!

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Wright, John. Flavor Creation, 2nd Edition. Carol Stream: Allured Business Media, 2011. Print.

Interested in our natural flavors? (We're flattered!) Click here to learn more about our flavor offerings.
Call us at (773) 492-1085 or click here to request more info.