Industry Update ~  Issue 47 ~  February 2020
Industry Update is a monthly e-newsletter that forms part of the 
Industry  Communication project. I f you think we have missed anything, or you have any feedback on the articles,  we would be more than happy to hear from you.
Australian Mushrooms back on the air

To further drive mushroom sales, Australian Mushrooms will be back on the air using a mix of media channels from March to June 2020. The message that mushrooms are much easier, much tastier and much healthier will be presented prior to and during the shopping experience to encourage consumers to add more mushrooms to their weekly grocery shopping basket.

While the Australian Mushrooms campaign continues to perform well, a new mushroom creative is currently being developed to deliver even stronger cut through with consumers. The new creative will be launched in the second half of 2020 and will be developed in consultation with a media creative working group.
In-store sampling continues
Shoppers across Australia will be reminded how to make everyday dishes much tastier with mushrooms, with the second phase of the in-store sampling starting 26 February.

The first phase ran from 14 November through until 14 December in selected Woolworths and Independent stores.  The current phase runs from 26 February to 3 April in 508 Woolworths, Coles and Independent stores across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

The featured recipe - Mushroom Bolognese Nachos - highlights taste and versatility and showcases a mix of cup, flat, Swiss Brown and Portobella mushrooms. 

Mushroom Marketing team announced

Hort Innovation has announced a revamped lineup to manage the Australian Mushrooms marketing activities. Nicola Schwendler has been appointed the new Group Marketing Manager for the Vegetable cluster , filling in for Samantha Ferguson during her maternity leave. Nicola brings a wealth of knowledge and experience across marketing strategy, brand proposition, consumer research, and media communications.
Support will also be provided through the positions of Marketing Manager and Assistant Brand Manager for Vegetables . The new Marketing Manager Mariannel Azarcon has been the Marketing lead for a number of Hort industries over the last 18 months, previously working on a range of tropical industries and Australian Macadamias. She is excited to now be working on the mushroom program. Assistant Brand Manager for Vegetables, Megan Yap provides additional experience with a background in marketing health foods and nutrition and dietetics.

Strategic Investment Advisory Panel

The SIAP  met in Sydney from 4-5 December 2019.  To stay up to date with SIAP activities, please use this  LINK   to view a full list of meeting summaries.  If you have any questions related to the SIAP please contact Hort Innovation Mushroom Industry Strategic Partner, Mark Spees - 0439 574 173  -

New Mushroom Industry Projects 

Hort Innovation has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the following  mushroom industry projects:
MU19005 - New innovations to improve mushroom whiteness shelf life
Mushroom whiteness is seen as a beneficial attribute for the sale of some mushrooms in retail markets. While there is a range of pre-harvest factors impacting on a white and blemish-free post-harvest, there is a lack of understanding of these factors and the strategies required to maximise the production of white mushrooms that stay white for extended periods in the market.
The objectives of the project are to:
  • Clarify the pre-harvest opportunities to manage mushroom production for improved post-harvest whiteness and post-harvest whiteness persistence and shelf life.
  • Identify and prioritise knowledge gaps for future R&D to improve mushroom whiteness.
The project is scheduled to commence in March 2020 and conclude in September 2020.
MU19003: Mushroom price elasticity of demand
Many factors underpin the consumer purchase of fresh produce at the retail level. Understanding the impact that pricing has on the purchase behaviour of fresh produce is a key determinant for effective category management and industry supply.
In simple terms price elasticity of demand determines for a given unit change in price, what is the corresponding change in quantity demanded. Defining the price elasticity of demand will support the industry to understand how price responsive consumers are in purchasing mushrooms and what role price plays in underpinning purchase. This knowledge will support the industry to unlock opportunities for growth.
The objectives of the project are to:
  • Determine how consumer demand for mushrooms responds to changes in price across the various category types.
  • Identify opportunities for the mushroom industry to unlock opportunities for segment growth through optimal value/volume mix.
  The project is scheduled to commence in March 2020 and conclude in June 2020.

The 2020 Australian Mushroom Growers' Association conference - Growing the future, together - will be held in Adelaide from 14 October to 17 October. An overview of the conference was included in the last Australian Mushrooms Journal, and a further update, including confirmed speakers, will be included in the upcoming edition.

If you are interesting in attending please check your diary and block out the dates. The conference is held every two years, so do not miss this opportunity to hear international and Australian experts address key topics of interest.
A snapshot of mushroom news

Mushrooms in the News is a quick snapshot of news relevant to mushrooms. It could be a great recipe, a healthy reference, some research findings or some mushroom industry coverage. When we find it we will post it to the site and include it in the Monthly Update. If you have any comments or find anything that has been missed, please email and let us know.

Mushrooms could address vitamin D deficiencies, 'global public health issue', new research finds The last Industry Update covered a story - Tan you mushrooms, not your skin - written by Dr Flavia Fayet-Moore, a nutrition scientist and Accredited Practising Dietitian who manages the levy-funded project - Educating health professionals about Australian mushrooms. This month numerous stories have picked up on this original item, leveraging the information and highlighting the value of communicating credible scientific research on the potential health benefits of mushrooms.

Mushrooms & Vitamin D Another mushroom health story, and this time it is well-known mushroom researcher, Glenn Cardwell explaining the relationship between mushrooms and vitamin D. Importantly it should be noted that not only is this a great summary of the research, but it also appears on the website of one of Australia's favourite and best-known nutrition and lifestyle specialists, Dr Joanna McMillan, giving the information an even wider audience. Another fantastic example of how Australian Mushrooms are much tastier and much healthier.

Move over, kale: Mushrooms are the new grocery aisle celebrities In the United States mushroom production is up, store prices are up and this article suggests there is a new celebrity in the produce aisle - mushrooms. According to the American Mushroom Institute monthly the US mushroom production  has surged to an all-time high , while prices for a pound of mushrooms have increased from US$4.03 a year ago to US$4.19 in December 2019 (from $13.20 AUS to $13.75/kg approx.). The article suggests that consumers are purchasing mushrooms so quickly that producers are scrambling to keep pace with burgeoning demand.
Substance found in Mushrooms may alleviate preeclampsia Researchers at the University of Liverpool and University College Cork (UCC) have found that a substance - L-ergothioneine - most commonly found in mushrooms could help alleviate some features of pre-eclampsia. The study has been published in the journal Hypertension. The story highlights that pre-eclampsia is a leading cause of maternal and neonatal death around the globe with few treatment options available. Researchers believe the early-stage work suggesting a therapeutic role for ergothioneine is very exciting and worthy of further research. While ergothioneine is found in a wide variety of foods, the chief source in the human diet is mushrooms.

Additional links of interest:

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