Mushroom sales top $1 billion

08/30/2012 04:44:00 PM
Andy Nelson

U.S. mushroom sales topped $1 billion in 2011-12, up 8% from the season before.

About $1.1 billion worth of domestically grown mushrooms shipped in 2011-12, according to the annual mushroom report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Volumes also were up over last season. About 900 million pounds shipped, 4% more than in 2010-11.

The average per-pound price of mushrooms in 2011-12, $1.22 per pound, was 4 cents higher than the season before.

Mushroom growers enjoyed brisk movement of their products in 2011-12, said Fletcher Street, vice chairman of the San Jose-based Mushroom Council and the marketing and sales director for Olympia, Wash.-based Ostrom Mushroom Farms.

“Demand for mushrooms has been strong through the recession, which has been nice,” she said. “People are buying more mushrooms to add excitement and glamour to their cooking.”

The council’s efforts to show people that mushrooms aren’t just delicious but also nutritious also have paid off, said Street, who expects another strong year in 2012-13.

Laura Phelps, president of the American Mushroom Institute, Washington, D.C., echoed those sentiments.

“To be up 4% is great, and we’re happy that the demand is there to absorb it,” she said.

Looking ahead to 2012-13, about 133.6 million square feet of fresh-market mushrooms are expected to be produced, up 1% from 2011-12. Over half of that production, 75.6 million square feet, is expected to come from Pennsylvania. California is second with 20.4 million square feet.



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