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Michael Barker

BY MICHAEL BARKER

@michaelbarker

Lockdown cooking boosts mushroom sales

Consumers have been buying up mushrooms in large volumes as they cook from scratch during the Covid-19 crisis

Lockdown cooking boosts mushroom sales

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Mushrooms are enjoying a vintage sales year as lockdown Brits cook more from scratch.

In March, almost half a million more consumers (479,000) bought mushrooms [Kantar], with shoppers 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, while the total vegetable category also experienced growth of three per cent.

Topping the list of the nation’s favourite fungi is white closed cup mushrooms, a versatile product that can be used in a range of recipes across breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is followed by the brown or chestnut mushroom, which has seen a surge in popularity in the last year. Button mushrooms place third, with flat mushrooms in fourth place as shoppers swap out their beef burger patties for plant-based alternatives.

Families are the top mushroom consumers, with almost a quarter (24 per cent) eating them more regularly in 2019 compared to 2018, while consumption among millennials is also popular, with sales at £60m.

A spokesperson from the Mushroom Bureau said: “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 alternative to meat during National Vegetarian Week.

"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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