The fact that mushrooms are the only natural source of vitamin D in the produce department is another big plus for marketers, said Kathleen Preis, Mushroom Council marketing coordinator.
“Consumers are becoming more and more nutrition-focused and they want to receive their vitamins and nutrients in a natural way rather than taking a pill,” Preis said.
“Packers who include just one message, like ‘100% vitamin D’ or ‘a great source of D vitamins,’ have been increasing sales,” she said.
With the growing interest in meatless eating, mushrooms are moving to the center of the plate, said Meg Hill, director of marketing for Sebastapol, Calif.–based Gourmet Mushrooms Inc.
“They offer the same mouthfeel and texture people get from eating meat,” Hill said.
Mushrooms are also starring on more restaurant menus and in more recipes because they’re healthy and add great flavor, said Gary Schroeder, president of Kennett Square, Pa–based Oakshire Mushroom Farm, which markets under the Dole brand.
“With the crisis of obesity in this country, we have to learn to eat differently than we have been,” Schroeder said. “Mushrooms are absolutely going to be part of that.”