Health & Nutrition

Mushroom Vitamin D Boosting with Benefits

26 November 2020

Shoppers shift to foods booming with benefits – with mushrooms leading the charge

Since the start of the global pandemic, 36 per cent of British shoppers have proactively purchased more foods with added health benefits1.

During lockdown, sales of mushrooms skyrocketed with volume sales up by 20 per cent2, as health-conscious consumers have been seeking nutritious food that can be easily incorporated into dishes at home.

In this month alone, mushroom sales have risen 15 per cent3, outperforming all other vegetables within the category.

According to The UK & Ireland Mushroom Producers, a collaboration between key mushroom farmers across the UK & Ireland, recent research suggests that demand is still high for mushrooms and shows no signs of slowing down.

Noel Hegarty, Managing Director of The UK & Ireland Mushroom Producers says: “We have noticed an increased consumer demand for products such as mushrooms due to their additional nutritional benefits, and the fact that they contribute towards people’s recommended daily intake of vitamin D.

According to new figures by data insights company, Kantar, mushrooms enriched with vitamin D are on the rise and 2.5 billion fungi (25K tonnes) have been sold in the UK alone in the past 12 months4.

Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has seen significant growth, with this year’s total sales up by 18 per cent, sales of flat mushrooms soaring by 33 per cent, and sales of button mushrooms up by 19 per cent5.

Tesco has also reported growth, with total sales up by 10 per cent, sales of its closed mushrooms rising by 16 per cent, and sales of button mushrooms soaring by 14 per cent6.

The on-set of Covid-19 highlights that consumers are now making more conscious decisions around eating foods with additional health benefits.

Interestingly, mushrooms have been eaten more regularly to boost the immune system, with consumers aged 55+ being motivated to eat food with functional health benefits7.

Noel continues, “enriched fortified and functional ingredients such as mushrooms allow customers the freedom to make healthier choices while doing a food shop. Mushrooms are an easy and accessible way to ensure that the population is getting enough vitamin D in their diet.

 

“Vitamin D is essential to support a normal immune system, as well as playing a vital role in keeping our bones healthy as it works to regulate our intake of calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.”

 

The data also suggests the cause of the spike could also be down to the new wave of shoppers buying into meat alternatives.

Latest data from Kantar shows sales of meat alternatives are up by 32% year-on-year8 and plant-based cooking has continued to increase with vegan main meals growing by 50 per cent9.

Interesting, consumers identified that mushrooms with fortified benefits were the most versatile ingredient and are more likely to be eaten at the evening meal (71%) vs other veg (66%). 13.5% of mushroom consumption is at lunch vs. 21% for other vegetables10.


[1] Survey – Opinion Matters (2,000 respondents) 3rd June 2020

[2] Sales data from Kantar, 9th August 2020 24w/e

[3] Sales data from Kantar, September 2020 52 w/e

[4] Sales data from Kantar, September 2020 52 w/e

[5] Sales data from Kantar, 4th October 2020 52 w/e

[6] Sales data from Kantar, 4th October 2020 52 w/e

[7] Mintel Report A closer look at medical mushrooms, March 2019

[8] Sales data from Kantar, 12th July 2020 24 w/e

[9] Sales data from Kantar, 17th May 2020 8 w/e vs average 8 weeks in 17th May 2020 52 w/e

[10] Sales data from Kantar, 12th July 2020 24 w/e

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