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Mushroom retail sales surge in March

Redwood Shores, CA (April 9, 2020) – Consumers’ purchases of mushrooms at retail continue to outpace overall produce sales increases, giving the Mushroom Council BB #:161860 optimism mushrooms will rebound at foodservice when restaurants begin to reopen.

Data from IRI show strong mushroom retail sales increases throughout March as consumers stockpiled grocery purchases while social distancing measures began taking effect.

In each of the last three weeks of March, year-over-year mushroom sales outpaced overall produce sales increases:

• Week ending March 29: fresh mushroom sales increased 18%, compared to all fresh produce increasing 8.1%.
• Week ending March 22: fresh mushrooms increased 31.4%, while fresh produce increased 29.7%.
• Week ending March 15: fresh mushrooms at 35.1%, fresh produce at 34.5%.

Mushroom increases were in the company of other top performing staples like potatoes, tomatoes, apples, oranges, onions and carrots, noted Bart Minor, president of the Mushroom Council.

“While the health crisis’ impact is staggering to the foodservice industry, this retail sales data demonstrates that fresh mushrooms continue to climb up the staple scale,” he said.

“Prior to the crisis reaching the U.S., our industry was riding tremendous momentum. Our monthly shipping reports revealed a run of record highs in late 2019, driven in part by high demand in the foodservice channel. December volume exceeded 90 million pounds, the first time that has occurred.”

“By January, media placed mushrooms in their top 2020 top food trend forecasts in more than 50 articles. In February, CNN took notice and declared mushrooms the ‘new grocery aisle celebrities,’” Minor added.

“Now, this IRI data shows promise that mushroom momentum will continue in the channels where they are available and will likely be in high demand once the foodservice channel begins to recover,” Minor concluded.

“Our supply is strong and stable. As consumers stock up on groceries and pivot to home cooking, they are considering mushrooms not just a nutritious, delicious and sustainable ingredient, but an important staple.”

About the Mushroom Council:
The Mushroom Council is composed of fresh market producers or importers who average more than 500,000 pounds of mushrooms produced or imported annually. The mushroom program is authorized by the Mushroom Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act of 1990 and is administered by the Mushroom Council under the supervision of the Agricultural Marketing Service. Research and promotion programs help to expand, maintain and develop markets for individual agricultural commodities in the United States and abroad. These industry self-help programs are requested and funded by the industry groups that they serve. For more information, visit mushroomcouncil.com.