The Mushroom Council is promoting studies that promote the blendability of the vegetable.
The industry is pushing the blendability concept, where mushrooms are blended with meat and the San Jose, Calif.-based organization wants retail produce managers and supermarket registered dieticians to use the studies to help educate shoppers on the taste and nutritional benefits of the mushroom blend.
A study from the Culinary Institute of America and University of California-Davis explored mushrooms’ flavor-enhancing properties and reported that blending finely chopped mushrooms with ground meat enhances flavor and nutrition.
Another study by council consultant Mary Jo Feeney summarized mushroom blend nutrition attributes while exploring the possibility of developing a third food kingdom.
To promote “the blend” at retail, the council worked with the Cincinnati-based Kroger Co.’s registered dietician to run a 36 store event sampling mushroom blended burgers.
The event saw a 17% increase in fresh mushroom sales, moving the most units all year and more than 4,000 shoppers sampled the blended burger and took home a recipe card, according to a news release.
“Partnering with the mushroom council was a helpful tool for the work that I do for inspiring healthier shopping choices with our customers,” Katy Keogh, Kroger’s dietician, said in the release. “The blend concept with mushrooms is not only super tasty but also easy, economical and nutritious and every aspect that a dietitian needs to incorporate. Customers love the mushroom burger.”