Tesco has said that it has experienced an upsurge in demand for new and ‘exotic’ mushroom varieties, as vegan living becomes more popular.
The grocery giant has said that as a result of the boom in people adopting plant-based lifestyles, due to ethical or health-focused reasons, one of its suppliers, Smithy Mushrooms, has seen its business almost treble in the last three years.
The company, which has supplied to Tesco for 30 years, has seen a particular demand for oyster mushrooms which have a ‘meat-like texture’ and are extremely versatile when replicating traditional meat dishes.
Since 2019 volume demand for oyster mushrooms has nearly tripled with a jump of 370,000 packs sold annually back then to one million sales in 2022.
Because of this growth, the company is opening a new production site, making them the largest UK supplier of exotic mushroom species.
“Since the pandemic, there has been increasing interest in the nutritional qualities of mushrooms, which is now putting very unconventional varieties such as Lion’s Mane on the foodie map,” said John Dorrian, Managing Director of Smith Mushrooms.