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Mushroom burgers and ‘blend’ are trending

“This time of the year, mushroom demand is at its peak and supplies are tight as a result,” says Mike O’Brien with Monterey Mushrooms. “Our goal is to have adequate supply of all varieties for our customers during the holiday season.” 

Brown mushrooms take away from white varieties
Some mushroom varieties however are in higher demand than others. The white mushroom category shows a relatively flat growth rate while brown mushrooms gained about four percent in the past year. This category continues to drive growth as people convert from white button mushrooms to brown varieties. O’Brien thinks of the conversion from white mushrooms to brown mushrooms as the wine drinker that moves from Chardonnay to red wines. “I still love a good Chardonnay, but prefer a bold red wine,” he admits. The biggest growth however is coming from the organic mushroom category. “It grew by 15 percent in the past year, largely driven by millennials.” To meet demand for organic mushrooms, Monterey Mushrooms has increased the production of its organic varieties.

Umami-rich flavor
The mushroom category is gaining popularity as people are changing their diets for health reasons. “The umami element in their flavor profile is very robust and allows the consumer to use less salt when cooking,” mentioned O’Brien. Mushrooms are low in calories and contain a source of B vitamins and minerals, including selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and manganese. They are also low in sodium and versatile as they can be added to many different dishes, from hamburgers to pasta.

Consumption trends
Increasingly, mushroom burgers can be found on restaurant menus. “Chefs have found that adding mushrooms make a veggie burger as delicious as red meat,” said O’Brien. Portabellas are popular to be grilled whole as a ‘burger’. “They have the perfect shape, a dark brown color and very rich flavor. Altogether, they make a great substitute for meat.”

“The latest consumption trend is finely-chopped, umami-rich mushrooms blended with ground meat,” says Lindsey Roberts with Monterey Mushrooms. “Finely chopped mushrooms actually match the texture of ground meat and can be used in place of some of the meat in recipes. As a result, classic dishes will become healthier while improving the flavor profile and delivering a satisfying texture.”

For more information:
Mike O’Brien / Lindsey Roberts
Monterey Mushrooms, Inc. 
Tel: (+1) 831-763-5355

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