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Mushrooms trending as “next big thing” in 2021

With 2021 well underway, mushrooms are continuing their annual trend of placing high among annual food and health trend lists.

In recent months, media, retailers and influencers have listed mushrooms a 2021 food trend in more than 50 news articles.

Whole Foods Market, in late fall, kicked off trend forecasting season when it included mushrooms in their influential annual “The Next Big Things” trend forecast. Mushrooms were included in both the “Well-Being is Served” and “Fruit and Vegetable Jerky” categories. “Suppliers are incorporating functional ingredients like vitamin C, mushrooms and adaptogens to foster a calm headspace and support the immune system. For obvious reasons, people want this pronto,” the article explains. Additionally, mushroom versatility will be highlighted as there is a rise in the form of jerkies, as it is “Providing a new, shelf-stable way to enjoy fruits and veggies.”

Phil Lempert, leading food marketing expert, also expects that, “More blended foods – both made at home and bought ready-made in stores – build on the success of the Mushroom Council BB #:161860 and James Beard Foundation’s blended burger success” will drive more protein and vegetable blended combinations to choose from at retail, as detailed in Forbes.

Kroger released its predictions in December, explaining that “2021 will be a breakout year for mushrooms,” as they cited “Mushroom Mania” among their “Top 7 Food Trend Predictions for 2021.” “The versatile vegetable is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and can easily elevate everyday recipes with its warm umami flavor,” the retailer said in a recent press release. “Consumers should expect to see mushrooms play a starring role in a variety of new products in 2021, including blended plant-based proteins, condiments, spices, seasonings and more.”

With nutrition being top of mind for today’s consumers, health professionals are praising mushrooms for their nutritional benefits. On The TODAY Show’s recent segment sharing the top nutrition and fitness trends for 2021, anchor Savannah Guthrie asked, “Is there any vegetable that’s really up and coming this year?”

Registered Dietitian Nora Minno explained the one produce item that is “going to be everywhere in 2021…is the mushroom.” Furthermore, “People are really starting to take note of their functional benefits. They have lots of antioxidants and vitamins.”

Flavor & the Menu, an influential foodservice publication, predicts that ingredients and menu items that support immunity will remain popular in 2021, explaining that “Consumers have suited up, becoming more aware of the vitamins and nutrients that can reinforce their immune systems.”

Pam Smith, RDN, told Flavor & the Menu, “Mushrooms are flying off the shelves at grocery stores because they’re a natural source of vitamin D. Salmon is another. Awareness of the importance of vitamin D for immune support is up, so build a dish that sounds like comfort, but brings in power ingredients like these.’”

New mushroom products and nutrition join forces in HuffPost’s predictions. “Vitamin-rich mushrooms have long been valued for their health benefits,” the article explains. VegNews recently featured the headline “Why Mushrooms are the Hottest Wellness Trend Right Now,” stating, “Mushrooms are certainly having their moment.”

To learn more about the nutritional benefits of mushrooms and to get some easy-to-make recipes, visit MushroomCouncil.com.

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.