With barbecue season underway, new research reveals that Brits are mad for one particular veggie staple, swapping out their meat for mushrooms and going green on the barbecue this year. It seems Fungi has gained a new following, with over 1.2 million more Brits buying the nutrient-rich vegetable in April this year. The data also shows that shoppers are picking up a pack of their favourite fungi every other week.
For the first three months of 2020, sales of mushrooms reached over £113 million, with shoppers buying more than ever, while the total vegetable category also experienced growth of 3 percent, jumping £31 million within the same period in 2019. With plant-based consumption continuing to rise and over 60% of shoppers actively looking to eat more vegetable-based meals on a weekly basis, Brits are turning to mushrooms to get their fill.
The Mushroom Bureau revealed in a recent report that UK and Irish mushrooms are available in UK supermarkets 52 weeks of the year, so it’s no surprise that shoppers are opting for the locally sourced ingredient, as consumers search for more ways to consciously consume. Sustainable and full of vitamins, the mighty mushroom is a good source of vitamins B2, B3, B5 and folate, as well as the mineral selenium, and can be enriched with vitamin D and B12, making it the perfect vegetable to consume during lockdown.
Topping the list of the nation’s favourite fungi is white closed cup mushrooms, the versatile fungi can be used in a range of recipes across breakfast, lunch, and dinner, making it a popular choice for Brits. Next up is the brown or chestnut mushroom, which has seen a huge surge in popularity in the last year as Brits spend almost £6 million on purchasing the nutty tasting variety. Button mushrooms place third, with flat mushrooms taking fourth place – as shoppers swap out their beef burger patties for this beefy alternative.
Families are the top mushroom consumers, with almost a quarter (24 percent) eating them more regularly in 2019 compared to 2018, while consumption amongst millennials is also popular, with sales at £60 million.
A spokesperson from the Mushroom Bureau commented: “Mushrooms are really having their moment this year and it’s no surprise to see they are high on shoppers’ lists. Packed with vitamins and with strong sustainable credentials, the mushroom is the perfect ingredient if you’re going green this barbecue season. It’s important to remember when sourcing mushrooms, shopping locally by buying UK and Irish ensures the freshest, most nutritious mushrooms which have travelled as little food miles as possible before reaching your plate.”
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