Informed US consumers driving mushroom sales

With strong sales expected for the 2015 holiday season, American mushrooms are wrapping up another strong year domestically.

Brian Kiniry of Oakshire Mushroom Farm, Inc., a Pennsylvania-based mushroom supplier, says demand and supply levels are both strong for the Thanksgiving season, as changing weather has led to strong fall yields for the second year in a row. “This is the second Thanksgiving with a bigger push,” says Kiniry, who expects strong business on white and brown crimini mushrooms this holiday season.

Consumers increasingly knowledgeable
This year’s early push has been good news for Oakshire and other American mushroom growers, as Kiniry says his industry has faced “strained” supplies since demand for fresh mushrooms increased sharply two years ago.

“If you go back to 2013, the industry was well positioned for the demand,” Kiniry notes.

Since then, however, demand has outpaced supply as consumers have become more aware of mushrooms’ versatility, flavor, and nutritional value. “As more people become better educated on what mushrooms can do, people are starting to make them more available in their home recipes,” Kiniry says, adding that restaurants – including major chains – are also making mushrooms a more prominent part of their menu.

Shiitake becoming “mainstream”

While this increase in demand has been a boom to the market, Kiniry estimates that category prices have increased only 2% to 5% since 2013, despite the surge in demand. “The pricing of mushrooms hasn’t moved as quickly up as we would like to see it.”

Nonetheless, the increase in demand – along with a greater consumer focus on fresh product over the past decade – has resulted in consistently strong business for Oakshire. It has also meant that certain specialty varieties, such as shiitake, are becoming more and more popular with consumers. “Shiitake has taken on more of a mainstream approach,” Kiniry says. “I still think the Shiitake mushroom is growing.”

For more information:
Brian Kiniry – VP/GM
Oakshire Mushroom Farm, Inc.
Tel: +1 888-255-2077

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