Blandon, Pa.-based Giorgio Fresh’s new product development is focused on expanding its stuffed mushroom line, which gives consumers a variety of delectable flavors and eliminates the need for extensive prep work in meal production, said Bryan Shelton, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Giorgio Fresh Co.

“With their convenient heat-and-serve cooking method, enjoying a delicious mushroom-based dish has never been easier,” Shelton said.

Giorgio Fresh stays ahead of trends in the fresh mushroom business by prioritizing organic and sustainable farming practices, promoting mushrooms as a meat alternative, highlighting their health benefits, offering diverse mushroom varieties, and providing convenient options like sliced mushrooms, Shelton added.

“We invest in research and development, market analysis, and consumer insights to adapt our products and strategies to meet evolving customer demands and maintain their industry leadership.”

When it comes to merchandising and marketing fresh mushrooms at retail, Highline is taking a cue from other produce commodities and working with a consultant on coming up with “one key message” about mushrooms that will stick in consumers’ minds.

Marketers of blueberries, for instance, saw sales skyrocket when they started attaching the word “antioxidants” to their product, Kennedy said. For mushrooms, there are a number of good candidates: nutrition, versatility and meat replacement, for example.

“Mushrooms are very approachable and friendly, and they go with everything,” she said. “You can pair it with the steak, or it can replace the burger. We want to see mushrooms become more of a staple.”

According to one study, mushroom lovers buy mushrooms about 17 times a year. Highline wants to see that rise to 52 times a year, and sees room for tremendous growth, Kennedy said.

For Giorgio Fresh, the key to successful merchandising is collaborating closely with its retail partners, Shelton said.

Key aspects of great merchandising, he said, include eye-catching displays, strategic placement, quality assurance, education, and promotional support.

Giorgio Fresh and its partners aim to create visually appealing displays, position mushrooms effectively, maintain high quality, educate retail staff and consumers, and execute promotional campaigns.

“This collaboration drives sales, enhances the shopping experience, and reinforces the appeal of fresh mushrooms as a versatile ingredient,” Shelton said. “Mushrooms can be incorporated into a wide range of dishes, spanning appetizers, entrees, and even desserts.” Whether grilled, roasted, sautéed, or used raw in salads, he added, mushrooms add depth and flavor to any culinary creation.