Mushrooms Make It Mainstream!

FUNCTIONAL FOODS AND MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS HAVE MERGED TOGETHER IN THE QUALITY, ON-DEMAND BRAND THAT’S NEW TO AUSTRALIA – FOUR SIGMATIC.

In 2016, SPINS wrote “In prior years, medicinal mushrooms were found mainly in dietary supplement form but are now commanding consumer attention in ready-to-drink tea”. Fast forward this trend a year and medicinal mushrooms have made it mainstream and driving ahead are the Finnish Funguys (excuse the pun) from Four Sigmatic.

Who is Four Sigmatic?

With a goal to bring mushrooms to the masses and desire to help people incorporate these superfoods (mushrooms) into their diet by upgrading existing habits, Four Sigmatic have created a range of Elixirs, Mushroom Coffees and Mushroom Hot Cacaos.

Four Sigmatic

“As a brand founded in Finland and now sold in 25 countries, we always love introducing our products into new locations around the world,”
says Tero Isokauppila, Four Sigmatic Founder.

Why You Need Four Sigmatic in Your Store

Already thriving in 25 different countries, we expect big things from Four Sigmatic in the Australian market as the mushroom category continues to grow.

The global mushroom market was valued at over AUD $44.61 billion in 2015. This figure is expected to grow at a CAGR of above 9.2% between 2016 and 2021 and will reach above AUD $75.63 billion by 2021.

Between 2015 and 2016 the natural channel saw significant growth in sales of the mushrooms that are specifically used in Four Sigmatic’s range. Reishi grew 89%, chaga grew 46% and cordyceps grew 21%.

Get to Know The Range

The Four Sigmatic product range is made up of three categories Elixirs, Mushroom Coffee (with cordyceps + chaga or  lion’s mane + chaga) and Mushroom Cacao (with cordyceps or reishi). None of Four Sigmatic’s products are listed on WADA and are 100% safe.

Within these ranges Four Sigmatic use a variety of medicinal mushrooms including reishi, chaga, cordyceps and lion’s mane. Each mushroom has been recognised to assist the consumer in different ways. Below is a breakdown of what functions each offers.

Four Sigmatic

Chaga – for extra antioxidants

The chaga mushrooms that Four Sigmatic source grow in the wild on birch trees in clean, unpolluted areas of eastern Siberia.

They are known as ‘the King of Mushrooms’ because of the astounding medicinal properties they offer. Chaga has been used since the 17th century in Russia to guard against several diseases and is one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants.

“1G of strong chaga extract equals 17KG of carrots in the ORAC scale,”
says Mikael Makinen, Four Sigmatic Sales Manager.

Chaga is also highly alkaline, making it perfect to combine and lessen the acidity of coffee, resulting in a smooth, delicious concoction.

Because of the energy enhancing benefits chaga offers and the smooth, enjoyable taste, it was used as a coffee replacement during World War II.

Once gathered, Four Sigmatic process the chaga through a state-of-the-art dual-extraction and spray-drying process to ensure bioavailability and at least 30% polysaccharide and 2% triterpene content.

Cordyceps – for performance

For at least 1,000 years, cordyceps have been known in Asia as a sacred treasure to increase vitality and today more than 600,000 Chinese use this medicinal mushroom regularly. Cordyceps mushrooms grow in the wild only on the Tibetan mountains above the tree line, from an altitude of at least 4km.

Cordyceps are known to help enhance oxygen intake, helps consumers to produce energy on the cellular level and offer great adrenal gland support.

Four Sigmatic

Four Sigmatic explain “Our potent cordyceps is a full-spectrum, dual-extract of optimally fermented, widely-studied strain of cordyceps, the Cs-4. It is guaranteed to contain at least 40% polysaccharides and 15% cordycepic acid (mannitol).”

Lion’s Mane – for the brain

Lion’s mane mushrooms have also been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years for their brain-boosting properties. These delicious mushrooms grow in hardwood forests around the world.

“Recent science has focused on Lion’s Mane’s exceptional effects on the regeneration of our nervous system,” Four Sigmatic explained.

Lion’s mane is also used in the range due to its ability to help offer natural nootropic (cognitive boosting) effects.

Four Sigmatic lion’s mane mushroom extract is made by dual-extracting the optimally grown fruiting bodies and then spray-dried without any fillers or carriers. The final extract powder is standardized to 30% polysaccharide content.

Reishi – for stress relief

Reishi is another ancient and well-studied medicinal mushroom. It’s recognised that it helps to balance the adrenal system and relieves stress.

Four Sigmatic explain, “Reishi is known to nourish the shen, a person’s mind and emotional balance.”

Again, the brand uses a state-of-the-art dual-extraction process, which has been proven to be one of the most effective for extracting the active components.

Train your staff with the amazing and free Four Sigmatic’s Mushroom Academy.

More Reasons Why Customers Love Them

They may be Funguys, but Four Sigmatic takes quality seriously. They use the highest quality ingredients including wild-picked, or log grown and certified organic mushrooms. All are quality tested rigorously.

“We are excited to bring Four Sigmatic to Australia and introduce the country to these amazing superfoods and all the health benefits they offer including increased energy, mental focus, stress relief, restful sleep, revved up metabolism
and immune system support,”
Four Sigmatic explain.

Customers will love how easy the range is to use – dissolve one packet into a cup of hot water, mix it into a smoothie, add it to your raw slices – the opportunities are endless.

Watch this great video on how to make Mushroom Coffee featuring Four Sigmatic’s Founder to see just how easy it is.

Four Sigmatic

Their products are vegan, paleo and don’t contain additives, gluten, lactose, white sugar or soy.

Tips For Fast Four Sigmatic Sales

So where should you place such products? While you may go to add them to your tea, coffee and cacao range in your grocery isle, it’s important that Four Sigmatic are showcased as offering high quality, medicinal mushroom benefits.

Four Sigmatic recommend placing them in your supplements/health and body care as a brand set. For best sales results, Four Sigmatic have ensured that each box is filled with individually barcoded sachets, allowing you to add them to your front counter for single sachet impulse buys.

To offer customers Four Sigmatic sachets as single serve purchase, you can remove them from the box all together and add them to a display of your choice, or utilise the box. To do this, pull all sachets out, fold the two side flaps into the box and bend the back flap back to reveal the inner of the lid. Lastly put the sachets back ensuring you keep the side flaps secured inside the box as you do this.

As the brand transitions into Australia, it’s highly recommended to sell the sachets individually, as well as offering boxes for those customers who have tried the products and are happy to commit to the full size.

 

If you’d like to add this exciting new range to your next order, you can do so here.

Don’t worry if you don’t already have a Unique Health Products wholesale account, you can easily apply online now or contact our friendly customer service team for any questions you may have.

Turmeric – It’s Worth Its Weight in Gold

TURMERIC HAS BOUNDED BEYOND BEING JUST A SPICE THAT ‘MAKES’ A CURRY, AS THE WORLD CATCHES ONTO ITS SEEMINGLY ENDLESS POSITIVE ATTRIBUTES.

According to google statistics, turmeric’s spotlight is brightening exponentially. Searches increased 56 percent between November 2015 and January 2016.

More and more people are looking into turmeric and are interested in discovering the benefits it offers the body.

The turmeric market is mainly driven by pharmaceutical and food categories with cosmetics following in third. A report conducted by Grand View Research (2016) identified that this humble spice has a big future ahead. The market is expected to witness high growth from 2016 through to 2022.

You can see the growth already happening with the sudden increase in brands that offer products with the golden ingredient – turmeric!

WHY THE GOLDEN SPICE IS TURNING HEADS
The benefits and uses of turmeric go on and on, but there are certain key selling points that are particularly radiating through to consumers. What are they? Thanks to the naturally occurring chemical compound called ‘curcumin’ found in turmeric, the golden spice offers medicinal properties such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

The global curcumin market is expected
to reach USD $94.3 million by 2022,
according to Grand View Research (2016).

Some studies report that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that curcumin holds helps:

– Reduce inflammation and joint pain
– Accelerate wound-healing
– Potentially reduce effects of heart illnesses
– Provide therapeutic effects against certain illnesses
– Provide therapeutic effects for problem skin
– Aid with stomach problems, allergies, diarrhoea, heartburn, flatulence, bloating, liver ailments and more.

You can read more about this here.

WHAT’S PUSHING DEMAND?
Besides the obverse increased transparency of the spice’s benefits, Australians escalating interest in health is driving turmeric’s growth.
People don’t just want the spice; they also want what it symbolises.

With this spice they see transparency, health and a prevention product.

The golden spice perfectly reflects Australian consumers’ desires to be more health conscious, which is part of the growth that the healthy food product category is experiencing.

Euromonitor has estimated that global sales of healthy food products will reach USD$1 trillion in 2017. On top of wanting healthier choices, consumers say they’ll pay more for them.

The Nielsen’s 2015 Global Health & Wellness Survey identified that 88% are willing to pay extra for healthy food products. This is true from Generation Z to
Baby Boomers.

Forbes has clearly outlined this shift in consumers’ eating habits in this article.

With demand clearly identified and growth forecast far into the future, now’s the time to get turmeric into your store. But what brands and products should you stock in your store?

Pure Food Essentials, Alchemy, Golden Grind and Takka Turmeric are four brands that are on-trend, high quality and in-demand. While each of these brands use the golden spice as their hero ingredient, they all have clear unique selling points that also differentiate each from one another.

PURE FOOD ESSENTIALS
Pure Food Essentials supplies certified organic turmeric sourced from the rich, fertile mountains of Northern India. Consumers love the high quality and
generous size.

What they also offer is an oral dietary supplement – Turmeric Plus. The product is formulated as a liquid extract of the spice to enhance absorption of curcumin and allow consumers to more effectively gain its health benefits.

Pure Food Essentials

ALCHEMY
Golden Turmeric Elixir from Alchemy provides a burst of flavour and goodness. The all-natural blend combines turmeric, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon and organic vanilla to create an aromatic, antioxidant filled mixture. It can be added to any milk or mylk to create a healthy drink hot or cold.

Alchemy

GOLDEN GRIND
Trendy – this is the word that best describes Golden Grind. Not only do they fill their golden latte powders with on-trend ingredients, they have excellent marketing and eye-catching packaging which attracts a huge following.

They blend at least 60% of their natural, unmodified turmeric with 5% active curcumin into every packet. This brand is all about innovation, so they’ve gone beyond the classic and also offer a Chilli and Coconut Cacao turmeric golden latte powders.

Golden Grind is completely sugar free, vegan and is made with organic ingredients.

Golden Grind

TAKA TURMERIC
Taka Turmeric have crafted synergistic blends of turmeric, coconut and spices to bring consumers a treasure chest of taste sensations over-flowing with healthy ingredients. They’ve created a golden latte, a golden tea and even a golden smoothie blend.

These instant drinks are free of artificial additives, sweeteners, dairy and caffeine and are made with all natural ingredients, including certified organic Turmeric.

 

Tukka Turmeric

 

We can help you get these and 1000’s of other on-trend products onto your shelves and selling fast. Speak to our sales team and they’ll happily help with any of your queries.

Guest Blog: Your Guide to Matcha

Zen Erin PicERIN YOUNG IS THE FOUNDER OF ZEN GREEN TEA AND ALSO A WELL-KNOWN CONTRIBUTOR
TO T-CHING, THE WORLD’S NUMBER ONE
TEA BLOG.

Since Zen Green Tea was established, Erin has always ensured that the brand is 100% transparent. She lets customers in, builds brand trust and openly shares the ins and outs of Zen Green Tea Matcha.

Below Erin shares a brief recap of her recent trip to the Japanese tea fields where her Zen Green Tea Matcha is harvested and details the ins and outs of matcha. 

 

Japan really comes alive in spring with its gorgeous weather, beautiful cherry blossoms and tea harvest in full swing.

I took the month of May to visit Japan and be a part of our spring matcha harvest and also to explore a little more of the beautiful country that inspires
my business.

I started my trip in Tokyo, exploring the hustle and bustle of the city and also some crazy matcha creations (matcha waffles, tarts, soft serves).

For any food lovers, you have to try the Yakitori restaurant alleyways at Shinjuku. These narrow, wood clad alleys are filled with tiny restaurants – each with only four to eight seats that serve up traditional cuisine, such as delicious noodles and vegetable skewers.

Erin in Japan

The Yakitori retaurant alleyways at Shinjuku.

 

After exploring the city, I headed down to our tea plantations and factories in Kyoto.

Kyoto is a gorgeous city, much less frenetic than Tokyo and it’s a shrine lover’s heaven!

We support family owned small tea farms in Kyoto, so I was picked up on the first morning by young tea farmer Toshio, whose father owns one of our plantations. Excitedly we drove out into the country side to Uji, a place in Japan renowned for its high quality matcha.

There is something so serene about
the rolling green tea plantations!

We arrived at Toshio’s family farm and I could already see that their harvest was well underway.

Harvest time for these family farms brings the whole community together, where for two weeks every niece, aunt, grandmother and sister are out there in the fields hand picking the finest leaves.

I spent the day under the shaded bamboo tarps learning from Toshio how they select the best leaves to be picked for matcha. Next I was taken to their co-op processing facility onsite where the leaves are immediately steamed and then dried, sorted, destemmed and deveined. After this I toured the freezing (-35 degree) storage facility that preserves the nutritional content of the leaves.

Matcha Storage Facility

The freezing -35 degree Celcius storage
facility, where the matcha is preserved.

 

The next day I was taken to our matcha processing plant. I was clad head to toe in hygienic robes and after being blasted in an air seal, I was permitted entry into the strictly HACCP controlled matcha plant. Here I saw the handmade granite stone mills turning the finest tencha green tea leaves into our vibrant green matcha powder.

 

Matcha processing plant

The handmade granite stone mills in the
matcha processing plant.

 

A trip to Japan  isn’t the only way you can discover the wonders of matcha (although I do highly recommend it). Take a look at the below matcha fast facts and arm yourself with knowledge you can share with your customers.

WHAT IS MATCHA?
Matcha green tea is the whole green tea leaf which is briefly steamed, dried and ground into a fine vibrant green powder. The powder dissolves in water so you consume the whole tea leaf, not just the steeped water. As a result matcha green tea contains 137 times the antioxidants of standard green tea.

Matcha Powder

HOW IS MATCHA PRODUCED?
Not all matcha brands are created equal. Many cheaper varieties are simply pulverized tea leaves from Korea or China, which do not undertake any of the production processes used to create authentic matcha. It is the traditional process which boost the Chlorophyll, amino acids and antioxidants and give matcha its incredible non-bitter taste.

 

These are the traditional steps that Zen Green Tea uses to produce its premium matcha:

1. SHADING

The finest matcha comes from the tea leaves harvested in spring in Japan, which produces the highest quality. In the final weeks before the leaf harvest, the tea farmers shade a portion of the plantation with bamboo tarps to block the amount of sunlight to the tea leaves. This shading process forces the tea plants to work harder for sunlight so they ramp up their Chlorophyll and amino acid production. This turns the shaded portion of the tea plantation into a beautiful dark green colour.

Matcha Pic 1

Shaded tea plantation that will be used to make
matcha. Take note of the gorgeous dark colour
of the leaves from the Chlorophyll.

2. HARVEST

We support family run tea farms, so the harvest season is a time when the whole community (uncles, nieces, cousins, grandparents) comes together to pick the tea leaves. The finest, young tea leaves known as ‘tencha’ are handpicked.

3. STEAMING & GRADING

Immediately after the leaves are picked they are briefly steamed. This deactivates the enzymes to lock in the high level of antioxidants and nutrients. The leaves then undergo the rigorous process of destemming, deveining and grading to ensure the best leaf flesh is set aside for matcha.

Steaming and grading

Matcha is destemmed, deveined and
graded by hand
.

4. DRYING & STORAGE

The leaf flesh is dried in a clay oven and then bundled and stored in freezers at -35 degrees Celsius. Storing the leaves at this temperature keeps the enzymes on pause so that they maintain their quality until the leaves are needed.

 

5. GRINDING

We secure a certain amount of these high quality Tencha leaves at the start of the harvest and then throughout the year, we continue to order our matcha production in small quantities. This means our factory only takes the Tencha leaves from storage and carefully mills them through handmade granite stone mills upon order, ensuring freshness. These stone mills turn the leaf flesh into fine matcha particles. This helps to give our matcha a uniquely smooth texture.

Matcha pic 2

Hand made granite stone mills grinding
matcha to a fine, smooth powder.

 

WHY IS IT DIFFERENT TO STANDARD GREEN TEA?
You can share these few key points with your customers on how matcha is different to standard green tea:

• Matcha is the whole tea leaf which dissolves in water, so you consume a much higher level of antioxidants (10 X standard green tea).

• High quality matcha has no bitterness as it is not processed as heavily as standard green tea

• Matcha has incredibly high levels of Chlorophyll, amino acids and antioxidants because of the shading process.

 

WHAT ARE THE KEY HEALTH BENEFITS OF MATCHA?
The key health benefits of high quality matcha include:

1. ASSISTS WITH WEIGHT LOSS AND WEIGHT MANAGEMENT

Matcha assists with weight loss and weight management in four specific ways:

• Helps boosts fat burning: A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming matcha can raise the bodies fat burning rate (thermogenesis) from the normal 8-10% to 35-43%.

• Can help reduce fat absorption: Matcha can help block the ability of digestive enzymes to break down fat, so the amount of fat entering cells is reduced and instead this fat is passed through the body in digestion.

• Helps to reduce hunger: Matcha can help regulate the hormone Leptin, helping to reduce hunger cravings.

• Can assist in reducing stress: Matcha can help reduce stress and as a result your body does not produce as much of the stress hormone Cortisol, which is a known contributor to stubborn midsection fat.

 

2. BOOSTS ENERGY AND ENDURANCE

Matcha is a natural source of sustained energy due to the unique way it delivers caffeine into your system.

With matcha the natural tea caffeine is absorbed and released slowly by the body over a period of hours. This means that matcha provides a sustainable energy boost and does not deliver the rapid 30 minute spike, slump and ‘jitters’ associated with coffee.

You will feel alert, energized and calm when you drink matcha. This is perfect for marahon runners, who need constant and sustained energy.

 

Matcha Energy Graph

 

3. SUPPORTS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

Matcha has an anti-inflammatory effect on the immune system. The more matcha you drink or use in your food, the better allergic reactions (IGE) are suppressed.

The catechins and L-Theanine in matcha have an anti-viral effect on the flu. The EGCGs have an anti-bacterial effect on different sickness-causing micro-bodies, including Candidias Albicans. Matcha also inhibits the growth of parasites.

Matcha thus helps to curb infections, clear up free radicals, reduce oxidative damage and protect the kidneys.

4. HELPS TO PROTECT FROM DISEASE

Matcha contains the highest levels of disease fighting EGCG antioxidants only found in green tea. Researchers have reported that the EGCG in matcha prevents free radicals from damaging cells.

 

WHAT ARE THE AMAZING WAYS MATCHA CAN BE USED?

It’s not just a tea. There are so many uses for matcha! It is the perfect ingredient in smoothies, baking, lattes and even as an antioxidant rich face mask!

I have compiled some of my favourite recipes into an eBook. Download the Zen Green Tea Recipe E-Book for free and share it with your customers!

 

WHAT ARE MY JAPAN TRAVEL RECOMMENDATIONS?
If you are looking to plan a trip to Japan soon, here’s a couple places I highly recommend you visit!

1. IZU PENNINSULA

While visiting the World Tea Festival in Shizuoka, I took a little overnight trip to the Izu Penninsula. It really surprised me with its blue coastlines and beauty. I stayed at a gorgeous hotel/hostel called ‘K’s House’ which was a one-hundred year old traditional inn.

It was right on a stream so at night you can hear the trickling of water. It also had beautiful hot spring baths – both a private one to enjoy alone or a larger one to enjoy with other guests.

I did a beautiful walk around Mount Omuro. You catch a cable car up to the top and there is a short walking track around the rim of the grass covered volcano with stunning views!

IZU PENNINSULAThe stunning view at Izu Penninsula.

2. MIRAJIMA ISLAND (OFF THE COAST OF HIROSHIMA)

I took a half day trip from Hiroshima by ferry to Mirajima. It’s a gorgeous little island that houses a famous floating Tori Gate. It has all the beautiful traditional style Japanese buildings and some great Shrines. The island is full of friendly deer too! I took a 2 hour hike up the mountain to reach a lovely view point and Shrine at the top. Highly recommend a trip here and if it’s within budget, a stay overnight in a traditional Japanese Ryokan.

MIRAJIMA ISLAND (OFF THE COAST OF HIROSHIMA)A traditional Japanese Ryokan in Mirajima.

 

You can discover our whole Zen Green Tea range on the Unique online shop, and also connect with us on Instagram and on Facebook.

 

 

Guest Blog: Sacred Grounds

SACRED GROUNDS IS AN ARTISAN ROASTER SITUATED IN THE HEART OF INDUSTRIAL MARRICKVILLE, SYDNEY.

Their main focus since conception in 2004 has been to provide sustainable and ethical products that allow your customers to consume with a conscience.

What exactly is it that has customers coming back again and again for this brand? Grab a big cup of Sacred Grounds coffee, get comfortable and discover the answers in the below guest blog from Sacred Grounds’ Communications and Marketing Manager, Ali Woodward.

 

It’s a well known fact that us Aussie’s LOVE our coffee. Who can possibly resist the smell of freshly ground beans as you walk past your local cafe? This intrinsic love for quality coffee, coupled with our passion for ethically and sustainably sourced beans is the ethos at the heart of Sacred Grounds.

At Sacred Grounds, we’re focused on the “spirit of coffee”, from where we source our beans through to the cup of coffee you or your customer drink. Coffee is heavily influenced by where it’s grown with each region producing its own unique flavours. To this day, we manually batch roast all our single origins (coffee coming from one region) individually in order to bring out the best possible flavour and “spirit” of each bean.

Coffee is a truly global product and it has an impact on both people and the environment. As global citizens, we do our best to ensure that all our coffees are ethically and sustainably sourced. As a result, we offer a large range of Organic and Fairtrade Certified coffee blends and single origins.

 

OUR PAPUA NEW GUINEAN COFFEE PRODUCERS
Papua New Guinea (PNG), one of our closest neighbours, has long been a favourite of ours. In fact, it’s been our top-selling single origin for almost a decade now, so it seems that Australia agrees with us. Grown in the rich volcanic soils of the PNG Eastern Highlands the rich flavours of this origin have ensured it as a staple in our coffee range.

Sacred Grounds 2

Photo: Supplied by Fairtrade Australia. Coffee cherries in the palm of a HOAC coffee producer

 

To cement our close relationship with PNG our Marketing Manager, Ali Woodward, accompanied Fairtrade Australia on a trip to PNG in 2014 to meet our producers and see how supporting Fairtrade and Organic is making an impact on their community.

Fairtrade Certification helps small farm holders stay out of poverty and ensures that their business remains sustainable for them – financially, socially and environmentally.

Daniel Kinne, the chairman for the Cooperative HOAC (Highland Organic Agriculture Cooperative), was keen to share with us the numerous improvements their community has been working on with the help of the Fairtrade Premium money they receive. One of which, was a fresh water project. Spanning across 11 villages, it brings better access to clean drinking water to the communities making up the Cooperative. They’ve also been able to build four new school rooms and have plans to build two new schools in surrounding villages.

Sacred Grounds 3

Photo: Daniel Kinne, Chairman of HOAC. One of several taps installed as a result of a Fairtrade Premium Project

 

Since meeting Daniel in PNG, he’s also made a reciprocal visit to our roasting facility in Sydney. During his visit we were able to show him what we do with his coffee once it reaches us.

Organic is also an important factor for the HOAC Cooperative. Besides the wonderful health benefits that organic brings coffee drinkers, what organic means to producer communities is the prevention of harmful chemicals from entering the soil and local water systems. Organic also means that the coffee is grown naturally under the shade of the canopy. In the HOAC Co-op coffee grows freely throughout the natural environment, meaning that the local wildlife and environment is preserved and protected.

ANYONE CAN CONTRIBUTE
We at Sacred Grounds believe that anyone can make a difference to our world, and it’s as simple as starting the day with a cup of Sacred Grounds coffee.

Sacred Grounds 4

Photo: Sacred Grounds Organic Fairtrade Coffee

Discover more about Sacred Grounds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or contact the Customer Service Team at Unique.