Mushrooms were on the move this year, as nearly half of all Americans put the spongy vegetable into their cart. The fungi climbed from the No. 15 vegetable last year to the No. 12 veggie in Fresh Trends 2013, and the likelihood of a mushroom purchase inched up one percentage point from last year.
The likelihood of purchase generally increased according to income. In fact, consumers earning less than $25,000 annually were the least likely overall to buy mushrooms.
Western shoppers continue to dominate the map when it comes to mushrooms. For the fourth consecutive year, consumers in the West comprised the region most likely to buy the vegetable.
Consumers prefer button/white mushrooms, but portabellas are also popular, with 28% of shoppers saying they prefer the large fungi. Because of the many varieties available, mushrooms enjoy amazing versatility. While at least eight in ten shoppers said they used the fungi as an ingredient in a recipe, mushrooms were also popular as a side dish and salad. A significant number of shoppers also said they used them as an appetizer and as a main dish. Eighty percent of shoppers tapped into the convenience of sliced mushrooms in the past year.
Consumers continue to seek out organic mushrooms. This year slightly more than one-quarter of mushroom buyers (26%) said they purchased organic product at least some of the time, a number up three percentage points from last year. Seven percent of shoppers always bought organic mushrooms.