Mushrooms continue to be a traditional Christmas produce item for US consumers. While growers say white mushrooms are still the biggest seller by volume, the demand for exotic mushrooms has experienced tremendous growth year after year. This includes wild mushrooms as well.
"White mushrooms are still the most popular variety for the Christmas season," noted Kevin Donovan of Phillips Mushroom Farms in Pennsylvania. "Brown and shiitake mushrooms are also becoming more popular for the Holidays. However, we have seen the biggest increases for varieties such as Maitake and Royal Trumpet as US consumers include more exotic mushrooms for their Christmas meals. Another popular mushroom for Christmas is the Chanterelle, which is a wild mushroom."
Supplies are tight
With the increased demand for the Holiday season, supplies of mushrooms are tight at the moment. This extends to all varieties, from the common white mushroom to exotic mushrooms. Many of them grow year round.
"Demand for mushrooms increases by about 20 percent for the Christmas pull," Donovan shared. "Therefore, supplies are tight on all varieties. The wild Chanterelle mushroom is sourced from the Pacific Northwest at this time of year. Due to its nature, supplies can vary from time to time."
New organic blend
Phillips Mushroom Farms has a business arm dedicated to value-added specialty mushroom products, called Phillips Gourmet. According to Donovan, this category has seen excellent growth as mushrooms become favored for meat substitutes as well as the overall growing demand for exotic mushrooms. The company has also lately been working on expanding their organic line.
"We have introduced a new organic gourmet blend, consisting of sliced organic Baby Bella, sliced organic Shiitake and organic Yellow Oyster Mushrooms," Donovan shared. "The new organic gourmet blend is available in a 4oz pack."