EHL Ingredients has said reports of Kate Middleton craving lavender shortbread during her pregnancy has resulted in a 20% increase in sales of its dried lavender flowers.

The Stockport-based business said recent news of the Duchess of Cambridge eating the lavender-infused product to kerb her morning sickness, has encouraged an increasing number of bakery businesses to use the ingredient.

Tasneem Backhouse, sales director at EHL Ingredients, said: “We have stocked the product for many years and have had a steady flow of orders. But since the news of Kate Middleton’s craving for lavender shortbread emerged in early January, we have noted a significant increase in enquiries and orders for the herb, with sales up 20% already.

“It’s a versatile and beneficial ingredient and can be used in both sweet and savoury foods. It has a pleasant taste and aroma and is renowned for it its health benefits and medicinal properties. It’s set to be one of the ingredients to watch in 2013.”

She added that lavender flowers remain stable when baked and retain their colour and flavour in a number of different products, including biscuits, cakes, marshmallow and breads.