Belgium was hit by icy weather a fortnight ago. That stimulated mushroom consumption. Michel Lessage of Lesage Champignons has noticed that people aren't too keen to go outside when the temperature drops. "There was a small dip in demand. But, sales rose and we more than made up for this by the end of the week."
"Chilly weather doesn't only affect sales, but our cultivation process too. We work inside, but we use outside air. That meant a risk of frozen systems or raw material. Fortunately, we made it through unscathed. Now, even with these spring days, sales haven't dropped. It's not yet hot, so the weather isn't having a major impact."
“Christmas was hectic. It's usually busy, but because of COVID-19, most people ate at home. And mushrooms were on the menu. January is traditionally a busy month as well. People usually ring in the new year. That's was, however, not allowed this year. Nevertheless, more people cooked at home, and we were still able to sell good volumes."
"People are noticeably shopping throughout the week. That's instead of the peak we normally see on weekends. Teleworking makes it easier for people to run errands during the day. This makes it a lot easier for us. However, we also hope we'll soon return to the 'old' normal," says Michel.
Michel has seen mushroom consumption increase over the last 18 months. "Before that, there was a slight decline. But mushrooms are benefitting from increasing vegetable consumption. And the popularity of meat replacers. Mushrooms are also rich in vitamin D. This contributes to a healthy immune system. That appeals to many people, especially in these corona times. COVID-19 has now had the world in its grip for a year."
"So the fight against plastic is slowly picking up again. At first, products couldn't be packaged well enough. Now, the call for more sustainable packaging is once again growing. We're looking for good solutions. However, unfortunately, many alternatives are quite expensive to use for a relatively cheap product. It isn't simple. But we expect a good solution will present itself. I'm convinced of that," Michel concludes.