Pre-pandemic, demand for mushroom-based products has been increasing with data from the American Botanical Council’s 2019 Herb Market Report showing that, in the natural channel, sales of supplements containing Reishi increased 13.5% year-on-year, cordyceps increased 8.2%, and general mushrooms increased 33%. Total sales in the natural channel are still less than $20 million, but the data shows that interest in fungi is growing.
But the rapid increase in demand early in the pandemic for any ingredient with an immune health tie-in steepened that growth curve dramatically.
“Back in March, some of products sold out within a week,” Chilton told NutraIngredients-USA. “It was just a scramble, and this whole year we’ve been back-ordered on so many different products just trying to keep up the demand.
“In the last two years, our sales have grown 80% each year,” “This sort of started back in 2015, 2016 when mushrooms really caught on and people caught up to what I consider to be a wonderful food and a great supplement. In the last four years, everything has skyrocketed.”
Nammex has about 400 different customers, said Chilton, with a lot of those being new customers since 2015.
So, the news that Nammex’s new mushroom extract processing facility is fully operational couldn’t come at a better time.
“The planning and construction of our new state-of the-art extract processing factory began in 2016, and it’s wonderful to now have this resource to serve our customers and mushroom users worldwide,” he said.
The new facility is capable of producing up to 25 tons of mushroom extract powders per month, including Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Chaga, Cordyceps, Shiitake, Maitake, Turkey Tail, and others. All the extracts are USDA Organically Certified and Kosher.
“Ten years ago, I was not expecting to be working in tonnage. I was working in hundreds of kilos, and now it’s literally thousands of kilos. That’s how things have progressed.”
Watch the video above for more from Chilton.