III. Industry Analysis
The American commercial farming industry continues to be subsidized by the government to bolster low food prices. This is a volatile and difficult industry in the United States, with small and medium-sized farms increasingly being bought by large farms or struggling to survive on their own.
However, for mushroom production, trends are positive. Globally, mushroom sales are projected to increase 6.5% per year over the next five years and were estimated at $58.8 billion last year, according to research firm IMARC. This sector is said to represent 3% of overall food and beverage sales. Global demand for organic foods increases by over $5 billion per year.
The mushroom farming industry is involved in cultivating a range of mushroom varieties including White Button, Crimini, Portabello, Oyster, and more. Many businesses focus on only producing a few popular varieties, while some produce a broad range of varieties in order to hedge against price changes or demand in any one variety.
Trends in the industry include the following:
- Dietary preferences are shifting toward vegan foods, and mushrooms are recognized as a nutritious meat alternative, providing protein, vitamins, and minerals.
- Mushrooms are noted for their environmental benefits, and their cultivation is more sustainable than meat.
- Mushrooms are known as a superfood, providing health benefits such as boosted immunity, increased energy, ,enhanced mood, and more.
- Non-food uses of mushrooms include such innovations as biodegradable building materials, and environmental remediation. Further, the pharmaceutical benefits of mushrooms are well documented, and are being further studied.