To the Surprise of Exactly No One, Mushrooms Are Now the Most Popular Item in the Produce Aisle

updated Feb 18, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

If you can’t get enough of mushroom pizza (yum!), mushroom lasagna, or stuffed mushrooms for an easy appetizer or breakfast, then be prepared — the mushroom selection in grocery stores may start to decline, as mushrooms becomes increasingly popular. (Cue the sad emojis.) 

In fact, mushrooms have become so popular in the last couple years that producers are struggling to keep up with the demand. “We haven’t run out as yet, but we’re definitely trying hard to keep up,” said Gale Ferranto in an interview with CNN Business. Ferranto helps run her family’s third-generation business, Bella Mushroom Farms, in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Chester County is about a two-hour drive southwest from New York City, and it happens to be the main area for mushroom production in the United States. The area accounts for more than 60% of all domestic mushroom production, which comes from over 50 local, New York-area, family-owned farms.

The Ferranto farm is a MAJOR player — they produce about five million pounds of mushrooms each year, and will package the mushrooms under its Buona Foods brand and other private labels for some big grocery store chains, like Stop & Shop and Giant Food.

“It’s not going to be easy, but we are upping our game to grow more mushroom crops a year from now,” she continued. 

Apparently, the mushroom production in the United States has increased to new heights per month, based on data from the industry trade group, American Mushroom Institute. Store prices for mushrooms have also increased, too — sorry, guys! The average selling price per pound of fresh mushrooms was $4.19 back in December 2019, which was up from $4.03 a year ago, as revealed by the market research firm, IRI. And it’s just getting higher and higher due to demand. 

It’s not even just fresh mushrooms but also packaged plant-based foods, like “burgers” or “blended” patties and other meat substitutes. Mushrooms are used in everything now! So, be warned, you may love your mushrooms, but so does everyone else.