FUNCTIONAL MUSHROOMS IN DEMAND

Functional mushrooms aren’t your average mushrooms. Rather, they are rare mushrooms that are known for their antioxidant and health properties. While they have been used in Eastern medicine for centuries, in the West we are only now beginning to add these mushrooms into our mainstream diets. 

More than simply catching up with the East, the Western functional mushroom market is booming. According to a study by Research and Markets, the expected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for the global functional mushroom market is 8.04% during the period 2019-2024. 

Functional mushroom products are becoming more and more accessible with many off-the-shelf products for consumers, from snack bars to beverages. Today, we examine some of the key mushrooms and what products contain these ingredients for your customers to reap the benefits! 

Benefits of functional mushrooms

Functional mushrooms tend to have nootropic and adaptogenic properties, meaning they enhance cognitive performance and can also help to ease stress in the body.

While there are many types of functional mushrooms, there are four key varieties that are stepping into the spotlight. 

Lion's mane functional mushroom products - Unique Health Products

Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane is so named because it looks like the shaggy mane of a lion. And it has some pretty powerful benefits that make it one of the kings of the mushrooms. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which may improve mood, boost focus and support brain health. 

When combined with coffee, such as in the Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee Mix Packets and Mushroom Ground Coffee Mix, the Lion’s Mane is the perfect balance to the caffeine to prevent the mid-afternoon coffee crash. 

The Four Sigmatic Mushroom Elixir Mix Packets is a caffeine-free alternative that can be added to tea or smoothies to harness all the benefits of this powerful nootropic ingredient. 

Made from 100% certified organic Lion’s Mane extract, Evolution Botanicals can be mixed with water and may enhance cognitive performance.

The Broth Sisters Stock Concentrate Superfood Mushroom With Lions Mane is an alternative way to consume this potent ingredient and can be added to sauces, marinades, soups, risottos or casseroles.

Chaga functional mushroom products - Unique Health Products

Chaga

Chaga mushrooms – otherwise known as Inonotus Obliquus – are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and general wellness benefits. Consuming Chaga may help to support the immune system and lower blood sugar levels.

In Finland they used Chaga to make coffee during WWII when there were no coffee beans available as it has a coffee-like taste. 

Four Sigmatic has two products that feature Chaga as the hero ingredient – Mushroom Coffee Mix Packets and Mushroom Elixir Mix Packets. Both may provide immune system support. In the Mushroom Coffee Mix Packets, the Chaga helps to balance the energy boosting benefits of the caffeine to avoid the coffee come down. The Mushroom Elixir Mix Packets can be added to coffee or any other drink.

Reishi functional mushroom products - Unique Health Products

Reishi

Reishi has been used in Eastern medicine for centuries. It may help to provide immune system support, fight fatigue and ease stress. 

Also known as Ganoderma Lucidum, Lingzhi or Queen of Mushrooms, Reishi is a popular nootropic mushroom.

The Evolution Botanicals Spiritual Potency Reishi Extract may offer immune protection, improved adrenal function and even an enhanced sense of connection and calm. It can be blended with coffee, water, smoothies or other drinks. 

Four Sigmatic has also developed a range of Reishi products designed to help induce a sense of calm for a good night’s sleep. The Mushroom Cacao Mix Packets, Mushroom Chai Latte Mix Packets and Mushroom Elixir Mix Packets will all appeal to different tastes but offer the same Reishi benefits across the board. 

Reishi for Skin

Interestingly, Reishi also has plumping, hydrating and restorative properties for skin. The Dr Organic range of Organic Reishi skincare, including an Ultra Hydrating Moisture Mask, Ultra Hydrating Eye Serum and Instant Hydrating Lotion, all lock in moisture for a youthful glow.

Cordyceps functional mushroom products - Unique Health Products

Cordyceps

Cordyceps is the mushroom of endurance. It may help support energy and boost strength and endurance. Think of it like caffeine in mushroom form… without the ‘crash and burn’ side effects.

The Evolution Botanicals Energy & Performance Cordyceps Extract may have a range of benefits including reducing fatigue and exhaustion, enhancing stamina and endurance and increasing athleticism.

The Four Sigmatic products highlighting this ingredient include the Mushroom Cacao Mix Packets and Mushroom Elixir Mix Packets. They have been developed to taste great and be a secret weapon for performance. 

Cater to the functional mushroom market

Nootropic and adaptogenic mushrooms are a growing market with consumers looking to take advantage of their powerful properties. Cater to these customers with a range of natural products from the Unique Health Products online store. You can order online 24/7 or call our friendly sales team on 1800 787 904. If you aren’t yet registered for a wholesale account with us, you can register your account here.

4 HEALTH PRODUCT TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2021

Attempting to predict trends for the year ahead seems somewhat of a foolish task these days but the reality is that many health product trends are slow burners, building steam gradually before becoming fully-fledged mainstream inclusions.

So despite the air of uncertainty around retail and the ever-changing global environment that we live in, experts can still predict, with fair accuracy, what we will be eating more of in the near future. We’ve tracked down the data-driven expert insights to bring you four health product trends to watch this year.

Plant proteins

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Plant-based meat alternatives and protein sources are big business and they have been for a while now. But we’re going to see this ramp up in 2021 big time!

The plant-based protein market is predicted to grow at an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3%, with demand for vegan meat alternatives soaring back in 2020—sales were up by a staggering 264% by May!*

This demand isn’t just coming from those who are vegan either. It’s driven by a mix of factors—the plant-based movement, flexitarian-style diets, increased awareness around health and excessive meat consumption, climate change activism, in addition to a host of innovative ‘can’t-believe-it’s-not-meat’ replica products piquing the interest of mainstream consumers.

Nootropics

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You may have seen the word ‘nootropics’ before but what exactly are they? Nootropics can be classified as ingredients, supplements, or other substances that may improve cognitive function including memory, focus, motivation or creativity. Some provide temporary enhanced performance while others work long-term to improve cognitive health and mental performance if taken consistently.

According to DataM Intelligence, the global nootropics market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 12.6% during the forecasting period (2020-2027). We’re expecting to see nootropics pop up in all kinds of products thanks to powerful marketing promoting their ability to support academic success, professional advantage, athletic performance, personal improvement and sustaining brain activities during old age.

Finding calm

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The demand for functional food and beverages that help reduce anxiety, support adrenal health, reduce insomnia, help to manage stress and improve mood are sharply on the rise. In fact, according to Goldstein Research, sleep aids and stress management supplements including products with herbal extracts, ashwagandha, tryptophan, zinc and/or magnesium are the fastest-growing category within health!

Even prior to the stresses of 2020, mood/relaxing supplements were a booming category that grew at a CAGR of 5.7% between 2014 to 2019. According to Euromonitor’s ‘Health and Nutrition Survey, January and February 2020’, more than 50% of consumers around the world claimed they were suffering from ‘moderate’ to ‘extreme’ stress.

Functional flours

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Originally driven by the need for alternatives to wheat and other gluten-containing flours, functional flours are gaining popularity as consumers and culinary experts seek to improve the texture, taste and nutrient profile of their gluten-free cooking.

Functional flours such as apple, chia, banana, quinoa and coconut flour are popular thanks to their additional health benefits, flavour profiles and baking capabilities, as well as their sustainable nature. Many of these are often a byproduct of other food manufacturing and help to reduce waste which makes them more sustainable options to regular flour.

There is also a continued increase in gluten-free, grain-free and low-carb diets that are driving the demand even further. According to Global Market Insights, the global gluten-free food market alone is expected to reach more than AUD$20 billion in the next six years!

Kickstart 2021 with your shelves stocked with the best trending products from Unique Health Products. You can shop online 24/7 or call our friendly sales team on 1800 787 904. If you don’t have a wholesale account with us yet, you can register for one here.

*Research and Markets, 2020, CB Insights, 2020.