Since Shroomeats launched in 2017, the mushroom industry has morphed into a growth area for the food and beverage industry with a range of products from snacks to RTD beverages. The global mushroom market is expected to reach $86bn by 2028, growing at a 9.50% between 2022 and 2028, according to Vantage Market Research.
“When we started the brand, we knew that trend would hit one of these days, one of these few years, and this is actually the year where we see a lot of mushroom brands coming together,” Theerakaosal said.
Unlike some of its peers that rely on fermentation to create their products, Shroomeats differentiates itself by providing a product that uses the entire mushroom from root to cap, including working with suppliers to upcycle mushroom parts that would normally be thrown away, Theerakaosal said.
“I call ourselves mushroom-based, whole-foods based alternative; it's still the food that you recognize,” she added.
Delivering on clean label, authenticity
In addition to focusing on whole food, Shroomeats is focused on keeping things “simple and healthy” and aims to provide a clean-label product, she said. Shroomeats products are currently formulated with only shiitake mushroom, pea protein, sunflower oil, salt, pepper, and potato flour, she added.
"In September of 2022, we launched Shroomeats 2.0, which is what we have right now. We're still made of six simple ingredients, and we want to keep the food as whole food based as well as the mushroom-based."
Consumers are not only looking for brands that deliver on a cleaner label, but also that come from diverse and unique heritages, Theerakaosal noted. The idea to start Shroomeats came from Theerakaosal upbringing in Thailand and cooking for her mother, who has been a vegetarian for 35 years.
“[Consumers] want to see something that they can trust and recognize right away, as well as, you know, the faces behind the brands like people want to see more diverse people as the people behind the brand. So, I think that it's the best time for us. We're women-owned, and we're minority-owned, and we're producing something very, very healthy for the consumers.”
Shroomeats looks to price, flavors to grow brand
And as Shroomeats looks to the future, Theerakaosal said, price and flavor will be crucial aspects of consumers entering the plant-based category.
“We're still kind of on the higher price point right now, which, as a CEO, I really want to bring that down so that more people can try it and more people can be healthy from it. So, we're actually working on developing flavors right now, so that even more to the consumers’ needs and what they're looking for.”