In the late 1990s, most pizza chains switched to fresh white or brown mushrooms, and now sliced mushrooms are extremely popular at retail, as well.
“There are more sliced mushrooms sold than whole mushrooms now,” he said.
For the past five years, the company has seen major growth in the sliced baby portabella category and has introduced 12- and 16-ounce packages in addition to its 8-ounce size, he said.
Caldwell said he expects to see significant growth in volume of vitamin D-enriched mushrooms that the company sells this year.
Gary Schroeder, director of Dole Mushrooms, Kennett Square, Pa., said he was talking about new sliced products with a customer recently.
“That’s clearly the way everybody’s thinking right now,” he said.
In some stores, 8-ounce packages of sliced white mushrooms outsell whole mushrooms, he said.
“Shippers and processors have been striving to make things more convenient for consumers for the past 40 or 50 years,” Schroeder said, “and I think that trend is still on track.”