Data analytics hiring levels in food industry – the latest stats

What's the trend in the hiring for data analytics at food manufacturers? GlobalData presents the latest figures.The proportion of food manufacturers hiring for data analytics-related positions dropped marginally in October, according to GlobalData research.

Some 59.5% of the companies included in the analysis were recruiting for at least one such position, down from 61.3% a year ago and a decrease compared to the figure of 63.2% in September 2021.


When it came to the proportion of all job openings that were linked to data analytics, related job postings rose in October 2021, with 4.8% of newly-posted job ads being linked to the topic.

This latest figure was the highest monthly figure recorded in the past year and is an increase compared to the 3.7% of newly-advertised jobs that were linked to data analytics in the equivalent month a year ago.


Data analytics is one of the topics that GlobalData has identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years. Companies that excel and invest in these areas now are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforseen challenges.

Our analysis of the data shows food manufacturers are currently hiring for data analytics jobs at a rate lower than the average for all companies within GlobalData's job analytics database. The average among all companies stood at 5.9% in October 2021.

GlobalData's job analytics database tracks the daily hiring patterns of thousands of companies across the world, drawing in jobs as they're posted and tagging them with additional layers of data on everything from the seniority of each position to whether a job is linked to wider industry trends.

Japan is leading the way into the elderly-population future. Its solution? AI-powered “Society 5.0”


The world is ageing: According to the WHO, the proportion of elderly persons aged 60 and over in the global population will increase from 12% in 2015 to 22% in 2050. This could mean smaller workforce and overburdened healthcare systems around the world. The solution? For Japan, it may be an AI-powered future called Society 5.0.

The Pacific island nation already has more than one in four people aged 65 or over. That’s 28.7% of the population, 36.2m elderly Japanese. No wonder a recent report from GlobalData calls Japan “a super-aging society with a shrinking and thrifty population that grew rich before it grew old.”

Of all the cutting edge countries in the East and Southeast Asia region, it is Japan which shares the most similarities with the leading nations of the West when it comes to slower tech uptake and changing demographics. Unlike Western nations though, Japan’s Society 5.0 plan means it isn’t relying on immigration to solve all its problems, according to Will Jasprizza, MD for the Tokyo branch of business development consultancy Intralink.

“Digitalisation to address a shrinking workforce is a vital focus for Japan,” Jasprizza tells Verdict. “The country’s population is both declining and ageing, causing the problem of a rapidly diminishing labour force. Japan doesn’t see much immigration, so it’s embracing robotics and drones as weapons against this trend.

“We’ve seen this reflected in logistics and last-mile delivery tech developments and innovations such as the remote-controlled convenience store robots developed by Japanese firm Telexistence.”

What is Society 5.0?

It wasn’t going to be long before robots were mentioned in a discussion on Japanese tech. Indeed, the nation has the world’s third-highest industrial robot density after Singapore and South Korea, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).

But Japan’s so-called Society 5.0 plan involves more than just robotics. On the Japanese government website, the vision is one for Japan to become the first country in the world to achieve economic growth with a shrinking population by becoming “a super-aging, supersmart society.”“Japan cannot rely on a marked growth in consumer spending to spur a new era of 2%-plus GDP growth,” writes GlobalData. “As the government acknowledges, the job will have to be done by sustained productivity growth via further wholesale automation and innovation, digitalization, and creating a less risk-averse, more diverse corporate culture.”


Society 5.0 in the 2020s will be built on a technology stack comprising 5G connectivity, sensors, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), high-performance computing and extended reality (XR). Japan has already shown off much of its vision in prototype form at this year’s Tokyo Olympics. Meanwhile, as we’ll see later, a new smart city formed upon Society 5.0’s principles is already being constructed by auto giant Toyota.

Japan is also one of the top three nations in 5G deployment and is the clear worldwide leader in robotics and supercomputers. With the latter technology Japan has, in GlobalData’s view, the potential to develop and deploy downstream AI applications in robotics, automation, healthcare, and XR, bringing the Society 5.0 vision one step closer to reality.

Intralink is already seeing this in action with the AI layer of the stack leading investment, as Jasprizza explains.

“For a German AI client, we recently targeted opportunities to provide drones to monitor construction work and pursued a partnership with a Japanese systems integrator. And we’re running a Japanese sale programme for DreamVu, a US startup offering 3D visual systems for autonomous robots.

“Drones are also being adopted for a range of unmanned security and surveillance applications.”

The AI acceleration of Japan

Outside of international partnerships, local companies are also pushing the pace in Japan, especially when it comes to AI use. For Hiroaki Kawamura, Country Manager Japan at data analytics brand Sumo Logic, Japanese companies are “looking at their approaches around data and how they can use this internally because they have so much information coming in continuously.

“These snapshots can be analysed over time to see what decisions are successful and which areas need improvement across software development and security,” Kawamura continues. “For Japanese companies, making use of all this data for AI, security and analytics is the next step for how they build out their operations and create new products for their customers. They are ahead of other companies in the APAC region, but they have to work hard to maintain that advantage, and that means working in real-time.”

Kawamura also notes that the fintech sector is developing rapidly in Japan, and as such DevOps and security strategies need to be examined in order to maintain company operations and protection of their systems.

“There is a big investment taking place in cloud security right now, and those services rely on AI and data to work. Consequently, demand for skills around security analytics and AI is going up and up.”

Jasprizza points to Japanese healthcare as a growing source of data, noting increased adoption of medical devices that can continuously measure and store patient data to give clinicians a fuller picture of patient health and responses to therapies.

“This goes hand-in-hand with artificial intelligence systems to analyse medical data. There’s also a growing demand for wellness solutions that allow individuals to track their own physical conditions, as there’s relatively high health awareness among Japanese people.

“Japan has recently approved two digital health applications for insomnia and to help people stop smoking. And there’s increasing focus on point of care technologies that reduce the need for hospital visits, as well as Big Data and AI systems in cancer treatment.”

A preference for the physical

With the current AI summer being very much a worldwide theme currently, it’s likely other countries will take Japan’s approach as one way to deal with the fallout of an ageing population, if they aren’t doing so already.

Such nations may not need to worry if, like Japan, they don’t have a tech sector propagating disruptors by the dozen. Japan is now showing that it can accelerate, or at least envision digital acceleration, towards its Society 5.0 dream despite a very paper-based and physical status quo.

As GlobalData researchers note, Japan’s relatively low degree of digitisation means that it is “unlikely to make a mark in AI for ecommerce and the consumer angled mobile internet.”

As they note, Japan remains “a rigidly conservative, risk-averse, hierarchical society”. Unlike hi-tech neighbours such as South Korea, the country is still dependant on fax machines, paper documents and in-person meetings. Less than 6% of citizens use digital online apps at government offices and over 80% of retail transactions in Japan are still in cash.

While modern disruptors like Uber Eats can be easily found in Japan’s major cities, payment infrastructure is still behind other Asian countries according to Hoa Q. Nguyen, a director for FPT Software which has made general delivery apps for Japan.

“Japan is still reliant on receipt printouts and barcode labels for parcels,” reveals Nguyen. “The use of a separate barcode scanner is preferred to scanning with a mobile phone which explains why there is a need for specialised Android devices equipped with mobile printers, scanners and payment card readers.”

Nguyen notes this is a different infrastructure to APAC locations such as Vietnam and Singapore, where FPT has business reach. Infrastructure is also lagging behind elsewhere in the country, according to Masataka Kondo, the Japan CTO of cloud and data firm NetApp.

“Small and medium-sized companies, which make up 99.5% of Japanese corporates, still rely on human processes,” Kondo tells Verdict. “This analogue work is found even in large companies and while many of them have started using public cloud services, there is a long way to go for everyone to understand the power of AI.”

As such, Japan is currently “focused instead on smartening up its automotive and automation sectors, which will be the drivers and shapers of the economy and help it pay for the energy, raw materials, and food that it needs to import,” writes GlobalData.

“The Japanese corporate giants, in close collaboration with the government and suppliers, are where the high-octane AI work is being done.”

Smart City 5.0

Any progressive Society 5.0 needs a smart city advanced enough for it to call home, whether in Japan or elsewhere. Toyota, one of the goliaths GlobalData recommends keeping an AI-eye on, is currently delivering one of Japan’s most exciting construction projects in years.

The company is to spend over $1bn to create Woven City, a smart city built from the ground up on a site at the foot of the iconic Mount Fuji. According to its official site, the 175-acre city will be home to a population of 3,000, including Toyota and allied scientists and engineers, and will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

A company delivering new cities for Japanese citizens is nothing new. App giant Line, for example, has partnered with the city of Fukuoka to integrate smart city technology. Two hours from Osaka, Smart City Fukouka is an aspiring “Japanese Silicon Valley” that will cover around 124 acres. On a smaller scale are the earthquake-proof and solar powered-towns Tsunashima Sustainable Smart Town and Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (pictured below), both developed by Panasonic.

Solar panels sit at Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town, Japan (Akio Kon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


“There’s a good deal of talk in Japan about Smart Cities and the Internet of Things,” reveals Intralink’s Jasprizza. “But I’d also sound a note of caution here, as Japan’s interpretation of the Smart City concept is vague. It’s a popular buzzword in the country, but the concrete business opportunities are still limited  – and tough to break into. To date, we’ve seen plenty of demo applications, but few that are coming through with real commercial value.”

Toyota’s Woven City though may be a breed apart with its soon-to-be-living crystallisation of Society 5.0 aspirations in Japan. GlobalData notes that while there’s nothing new about automakers using plots of land with fake city backdrops to test out new vehicles, Toyota is “doing it in a real city with real people living within its amped-up vision of the future.”

“In reference to the Society 5.0 vision, Toyota stresses that Woven will be a ‘city built for happiness,’” the GlobalData analysts write. “Hence, Toyota is going well beyond using Woven as a test lab for mobility. The blueprint sees its citizens living in connected smart homes with sensor-based AI to check occupants’ health and help understand and meet their needs, and with in-home robots to assist and facilitate daily life.”

Autonomous robots in the home will be accompanied on Woven City’s winding lanes by Toyota’s e-Palette autonomous vehicles (AVs) which were recently showcased at the Tokyo Olympics. The AVs will be used for shared transport, being able to carry 20 passengers at a time, along with deliveries. They will also be repurposed to serve as mobile shops, clinics, temporary offices and more in the city.

The name Woven City itself is a reference to weaving together three different types of streets or pathways: One for automated driving, one for pedestrians, and one for people with personal mobility devices.

The sensor-laden city will gather data from traffic lights, buildings and streets on everything from pedestrian traffic to precipitation and process it via optical networks and cloud data centres. This will create a real-time digital twin of Woven City and feed the synthesised information to e-Palettes and other vehicles in transit.

“The grand scheme is to create and evolve a programmable city and develop an exportable (at least to other parts of Japan) smart city platform in the process”, write GlobalData analysts, who also note that the Toyota Research Institute’s AI program has hired eminent academics to advance AI and data science beyond the current data fitting paradigm.

With multiple Woven Cities around the country, Japanese citizens could have robots in the home to tend to them, whether elderly or not, and autonomous tech picking up the slack when there aren’t enough humans to plug labour gaps. Writ large, the Toyota model could see our planet become a Woven World.

Japan, Society 5.0, AI and 5G

Japan is one of the top three countries globally in 5G deployment, although, as Verdict recently reported, that doesn’t mean the country is free of the patchy coverage that has dogged 5G rollout worldwide.

Still, it is probable that pairing the vision and prestige behind Woven City with the capabilities of 5G will bring the Society 5.0 masterplan to rapid life in Japan. Some like NetApp Japan’s Kondo are already thinking one step further when it comes to Japan’s interconnected future.

“In Japan, 6G will become the standard communication system in 2030, which will significantly raise the effectiveness of the data produced across the internet of things,” says the CTO. “This, along with AI, will dramatically increase productivity in factories, while R&D, logistics, and operations will also see benefit by automating processes, which streamlines the use of data.”

By 2025, Woven City will have welcomed its first 2000 citizens. By the time the metropolis is fully established, Society 5.0 might well be in full swing in Japan. Whether other ageing nations will have caught up is another matter.

“According to the Annual Report on the Ageing Society, published by the Japanese Cabinet Office earlier this year, Japan has led the global aging trend since 2005,” Kondo explains. “However the government and various industries have been leveraging data and AI in order to simulate the future and plan for the society of tomorrow. This will continue and by 2030, accessibility and the quality of AI should be improved, while the size of data available should be much larger, meaning what’s available to study is much greater.

“Not every solution used in Japan will work for all societies and countries. Each country has a different way of living and working with varying industry structures, finance and tax systems, cost of living and differing age groups etc. However, other countries can use Japan’s simulations as a basis and change their parameters in order to have an impact on their societies based on their respective needs.”

Find out more in the GlobalData Japan Tech: Thematic research report.

This article is part of a special series by GlobalData Media on artificial intelligence. Other articles in this series include:

Maple Leaf reviews plant-based operations on heels of Beyond Meat downgrade

Maple Leaf's meat-free sales continue to decline after below-target performance last year.
Maple Leaf reviews plant-based operations on heels of Beyond Meat downgrade

Maple Leaf Foods, the Canada-based meat group, is reviewing its plant-protein business after a third quarter of declining sales.

“We are seeing a marked slowdown in the plant-based protein category performance, which may suggest systemic change in the extremely high growth rates expected by the industry,” Michael McCain, the president and CEO of the Canadian meat and animal-free business, said in today’s (4 November) results filing.

Meat-free sales, which include the Field Roast and Lightlife brands, fell 6.6% in the quarter ended 30 September to CAD48m (US$38.6m), led by declining volumes in retail, offset by “growth” in foodservice. In contrast, regular proteins grew 13.4% to CAD1.15bn. Sales in the plant-based category were down 20.7% in the previous three months and 8.1% in the opening period of the fiscal year.


Maple Leaf set up its Greenleaf unit in 2018 to house the plant-based brands – both acquired through M&A in 2017 – and at the start of this year said it would invest US$100m to purchase a dedicated plant in the US state of Indianapolis. However, in March, the company announced it would relaunch Field Roast and Lightlife after sales were 10.5% below target in fiscal 2020, despite a 19.5% increase to CAD210.8m.

McCain said today: “While our overall focus to create long-term value for all stakeholders remains unchanged, and investments to date have been well calculated, well executed and have delivered underlying value, we have always been prepared to re-examine that investment thesis if circumstances change. Given current category performance, such a review is underway which will either affirm or adjust our strategies and investment thesis going forward.”


Two weeks ago, California-based Beyond Meat announced its sales were struggling as it downgraded its third-quarter revenue outlook to $106m, from a $120m-$140m range.

While the Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage maker partly blamed Covid-19 for the revision, it said “demand was impacted by broader on-going macro and micro-economic factors”, including pressures in Canada.

“The company also experienced a decrease in retail orders that persisted longer-than-expected from a Canadian distributor coinciding with the re-opening of restaurants, expected incremental orders that did not materialise from a change in a distributor servicing one of the company’s large customers, observed delays in distribution expansion and shelf resets believed to be driven by customer labour shortages, and incurred shortfalls at certain US foodservice customers believed to be driven by the effects of the Covid-19 Delta variant,” Beyond Meat explained.

Maple Leaf’s year-to-date plant-based sales were down 12.4% at CAD138.6m amid “pricing action implemented at the end of the third quarter of 2020 to mitigate inflation and structural cost increases”.

It added in the commentary: “Driven largely by the lower-than-expected growth in the plant-protein category, the company does not expect to meet its Plant Protein Group sales-growth target for the second half of 2021 and will not likely have a further view on near-term sales growth targets until it has completed its reassessment of the category.”

Sales for Maple Leaf as a whole rose 12.4% in the quarter to CAD1.2bn, and were up 7.1% for the year so far at CAD3.4bn.

Third-quarter adjusted operating income increased 84.3% to CAD68m, and was 17.5% higher year-to-date at CAD174.7m.

The business posted net income of CAD44.5m, down 32.6%, but up 14.8% over the nine months at CAD100.9m.

Hershey pounces for two US pretzel firms

The confectionery giant continues with moves to broaden the range of snacks in its portfolio with two domestic deals.
Hershey pounces for two US pretzel firms

US confectionery major Hershey has snapped up two domestic suppliers of pretzels – Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels and Pretzels Inc. – for a combined US$1.2bn.

The Hershey and Reese’s chocolate owner has been steadily broadening the range of snacks it sells, with deals in recent years for companies marketing savoury snacks and low-sugar confectionery.

Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels was set up in 2011 in North Dakota by founder Dot Henke. Hershey said it is buying four “pretzel-seasoning facilities” from Dot’s.


“As the fastest growing US pretzel brand, Dot’s Pretzels would further accelerate our success in the permissible salty snack category,” Hershey president and CEO Michele Buck said. “Dot’s Pretzels stand apart from all other products in the pretzel category and represents 55% of the pretzel category’s growth during the past year.”

Indiana-based Pretzels Inc., founded in 1978, has been owned since 2018 by US private-equity firm Peak Rock Capital. It is a co-manufacturer for Dot’s Pretzels. The company has three factories across Indiana and Kansas. Hershey said buying the business would give it “deep pretzel category and product expertise and the manufacturing capabilities” to support Dot’s growth.

Buck added: “Pretzels Inc. will help us expand Hershey’s snacking and production capabilities while keeping the special connection to Dot’s. It will be important as we continue to grow this already fast-growing brand and create new products in the broader pretzel category.”

In May, Hershey snapped up US lower-sugar confectionery supplier Lily’s Sweets for an undisclosed sum.

The chocolate maker made its first significant move into savoury snacks in 2017 when it bought US business Amplify Snack Brands for US$1.6bn. Among Amplify’s assets was UK crisps business Tyrrells, which Hershey sold in 2018 to Germany’s Intersnack.

Later that year, the company bought another US snacks business, Pirate Brands, from B&G Foods for $420m.

Mushroom mania – the vegetable’s rise in packaged food

The use of mushrooms in packaged food is growing with products sprouting up across categories. Victor Martino digs further into their use and explores their potential.

Mushroom mania – the vegetable’s rise in packaged food
Tessemae’s Mushroom Ginger Immunity vinaigrette

Mushrooms and their parent fungi are shaking up food ingredients, sprouting up as the primary ingredient in a myriad of products across numerous categories, ranging from shelf-stable packaged food and drink, to refrigerated alternative meats and dairy.

Technology also is playing a major role in the “shroom-boom”. For example, a host of innovative fungi-based (fungi includes mushrooms, yeast and molds, while mushrooms are the fleshy above-ground part of the fungus) start-ups like Atlast Food Co. and MycoTechnology are producing mycoprotein, using it as the protein source or primary ingredient to create animal-free meats and dairy products. Mycoprotein is produced from mycelium, the root-like threads of fungi that live below the ground.

US food and beverage ingredient and product development firm Mattson, which works with ingredient and consumer packaged goods companies, calls mushrooms a major emerging food-ingredient trend.


“There’s an opening for new options to the usual plant-based [ingredient] suspects. Mushrooms are coming to the rescue, with companies like MyCoTechnology, Meati Foods and Atlast Food Co. making functional ingredients from both the mushroom and the mycelium,” Mattson executive vice president Barb Stuckey says.

Springing up across categories

Kroger Co., one of the largest grocers in the US, included “mushroom mania” as one of its “top seven food trend predictions” for 2021. This recognition by a major food retailer, which also sells billions of dollars a year of its own-brand packaged foods products, is helping to spur the proliferation of new fungi-centric food and beverage products.


“2021 will be a breakout year for mushrooms,” Kroger said when it announced its predictions list. “The versatile vegetable is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and can easily elevate everyday recipes with its warm umami flavor. Consumers should expect to see mushrooms play a starring role in a variety of new products in 2021, including blended plant-based proteins, condiments, spices, seasonings and more.”

Kroger has launched numerous mushroom-based products in various categories under its private-label brands, including a line of quick-cook mushroom risotto, organic mushroom umami herb seasoning rub, beef and mushroom blended meat patties and a grilled mushroom and truffle oil thin-crust pizza, as well as others, Stuart Aitken, the retailer’s chief merchant and marketing officer, says.

According to a May 2021 research report from Grandview Research, the global mushroom market, which includes packaged food and drink products made from mushrooms, is expected to reach US$95.24bn by 2027, expanding at a healthy CAGR of 9.5% over the forecast period.

Mushrooms are also riding the growing interest in functional and adaptogenic foods, which has been accelerated by the pandemic as consumers seek out more products said to have health, wellness and immunity benefits. The ingredients are being rapidly incorporated into stress-reducing food and beverage products, according to a recent report from Allied Market Research. This growth is evident on grocery store shelves and online stores where innovative food and beverage products made with mushrooms are literally sprouting up across numerous product categories.

For example (and this is a small slice of the new product development that’s happening in 2021), in the tea category there’s Republic of Tea Beauty Brain Tea, made with lion’s mane mushrooms and ginkgo biloba; Pan’s Mushroom jerky, which is made with shiitake mushrooms and has a texture that’s very similar to beef; B.T.R. Bar Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bliss Bars, made with reishi mushrooms and pumpkin seed protein; Tessemae’s Mushroom Ginger Immunity vinaigrette, made with lion’s mane mushrooms; Nature’s Fynd fungi-based cream cheese; and Atlast Bacon, an animal-free bacon alternative made from mushrooms.

Additionally, non-alcoholic beverages (coffee is a big one), including many that blur the line between a drink and a food, as well as functional and adaptogenic mushroom-based protein powders, are booming categories in the mushroom-based product space.

Mark Gallo, a California-based CPG industry veteran and angel investor, says he expects the mushroom-based food and drink trend to continue to grow.

“It’s all about consumer experimentation, which we’re in the era of, and the growing popularity of functional foods and beverages,” Gallo says. “It’s a healthy category. People like mushrooms – they’re nature’s medicine – so now they’re going to experiment with and buy and eat products made from mushrooms, particularly those that include other good ingredients added to enhance taste.”

Mushroom tech

The use of mushrooms as a key ingredient in packaged food and drink products is the first wave of mushroom mania in the food industry.

The next wave, which is being led primarily by a handful of technology-based startups like Sweden’s Mycorena and US-based Atlast Food Co. is the focus on the use of fermentation technology to transform fungi into an alternative protein to create animal-free meat and dairy products. Fungi are not plants. They have their own distinctive classification.

By fermenting the root-like spores of specific mushroom species, these fungi-focused startups are producing a protein-rich and primarily flavourless food ingredient called mycoprotein.

Fermented fungi proteins aren’t brand new. UK company Quorn Foods has been producing alternative-meat products using the process since the 1980s. But the company’s patents have expired, which has opened the door for start-ups to adopt and tweak the technology, and enter the fungi-based food ingredient and branded consumer products space.

Atlast Food Co. (a fungi-based bacon called MyBacon) and Nature’s Fynd (meatless breakfast patties and dairy-free cream cheese) have both launched consumer packaged food brands and products. Meanwhile, MycoTechnology is focused on the B2B market, producing mushroom mycelium-based ingredients at scale for use as an alternative to animal protein, a sugar substitute and other uses, for branded food companies. All three companies have as their overall mission to establish fungi as a major food ingredient, including as an alternative to plant-based and cultured meats.

Investors taking notice

Nature’s Fynd recently raised US$350m in a Series C investment round, more than tripling the funding it’s received to date. The US company is selling its products directly to consumers online and, last month, via independent US grocer Berkeley Bowl. Atlast Food Co., which received a fresh $40m investment round in April, is also on the move.

“This investment will allow us to meet the incredible demand we’ve felt for our product,” Atlast Food Co. president Stephen Lomnes said when the funding was announced. “We are building the largest mycelium production facility in the US to provide consumers nationwide with a tastier alternative to their favourite animal proteins.”

MycoTechnology is going big and moving beyond using mycoprotein for alternative meats. It’s also turning fungi into a flavor enhancer that blocks taste receptors on the human tongue, masking the bitter taste often associated with some plant-based proteins. It’s CEO, Alan Hahn, said in a recent statement: “We’re focusing on driving sugar, salt and fat out of foods.”

The use of mushrooms as a primary ingredient in packaged food and drink products and as the protein source for alternative meat and dairy products is in its early stage but it’s a trend with staying power.

For example, Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market, like Kroger, named mushrooms as one of its top ten food trends for 2021 and the grocery chain’s buyers are adding mushroom-based food and drink products in numerous categories.

CPG industry veteran and investor Gallo sees a bright future and continued growth for mushroom-based food and drink products.

“Consumers are exploring new ground in food and beverage and mushrooms and mushroom-based food and drink products fit right into this exploration,” he says.

“For example, performance-based and relaxation-based foods and beverages, along with alternative meat and dairy products that taste good, are in high demand and mushrooms fit this demand nicely as an ingredient. Functional foods and beverages. Adaptogens. Personalisation. Mushroom-based products fit right into these areas, which are only going to grow.”