Medicinal mushrooms: 2018's top food trend

Health foods have become popular in recent years, and medicinal mushrooms became a trend in 2017. Extracts are now found in everyday food and drinks such as coffee and tea. Whole Foods listed medicinal mushroom as a top food trend in 2018.

Medicinal mushrooms are fungi that have been claimed to have healing properties. Some of the mushroom species have been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years, particularly in Asia: Lentinula edodes (shiitake), Grifola frondosa (maitake), Ganoderma lucidum (mannentake), and Cordyceps. They are used across the world in fighting cancer and supporting the immune system. Medicinal mushroom extracts are mainly used in dietary supplements and functional foods.

Increasing demand among health-conscious consumers is one of the main growth drivers of the mushroom market. The global mushroom market is projected to rise to more than $50 billion by 2023; the medicinal mushroom extract market is expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 6.3 percent.

Born2invest.com reported on an increasing awareness among consumers about the medicinal mushrooms, which are now being used as ingredients in coffee, tea, smoothies, broths and body-care products, including soap and shampoo. Year-on-year sales of food products with medicinal mushrooms rose by up to 800 percent.

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