Summer 2023

July 31, 2023

Innovating with mushrooms

You can’t go anywhere at the moment and not hear or see something to do with the functionality of mushrooms. 

In fact, it has dominated the ‘top trend’ discussions so much that you have to ask yourself if it is a trend anymore. Is it not beyond that already?

Perhaps so. But it doesn’t mean that you understand it, or know where or how to innovate with mushrooms. 

As such, we thought we’d share our quick step by step guide to innovating with mushrooms. The world is your oyster, so to speak!

Step #1. Products either hero a single mushroom, or a combination of complementary mushrooms. So make your choice - what do you think will make a more compelling product?

Step #2. Align your benefit. Mushrooms are known for particular benefits, i.e. Cordyceps in the ‘energy’ mushroom (link). So make sure you have the right mushroom(s) for the right benefit, proposition or occasion.

Step #3. Choose your format. Based on the brands that we have reviewed, powders is the dominant format. In fact, by some distance. However, capsules, tinctures, and gummies are all viable options. It depends on how important creating a memorable experience is?

Step #4. Are you a coffee connoisseur? Mushroom powders are often provided with coffee. In fact, many brands are coffee & mushroom brands only. It might just be that those brands need to be experts in coffee (barista style!) as much as mushrooms. 

Step #5. Mushrooms and/or adaptogens? In the bigger picture mushrooms are adaptogens so maybe you want to be an adaptogen brand and not just about mushrooms. It is one way to differentiate and offer a broader wellness proposition.

Where is all the flavour creativity?

Taste is king, we say. It is an enabler to repeat purchase, and to engaging with more consumers. 

But can you differentiate with flavour?

A lot of our recent analysis has been looking at flavour characteristics of products. How many flavours do products offer, what are the top flavours (single and combination), how are flavours described?

And we can’t help wondering if we’ve missed something?

You see, overwhelmingly the majority of products whether powders, bars or drinks - protein or preworkout - offer 2-3 flavours per product. 

And those flavours (single or combination) are almost always the same dominant flavours, described in the same way. 

So where is the latest flavour innovation? 

Flavour collaborations are great - but they aren’t new any more. Gaming has absolutely led the way in mystical flavours - but it is a specific product type that doesn’t transition easily to protein powders and bars.

Brands like Holy Energy really interest us, and are definitely creative. But there isn’t much beyond that. 

So, it is a race. A race to crack the next big flavour innovation. And like all innovation the answer will be right in front of us. It just needs a little (flavour) creativity.

ANIE Insight

We want to make accessing the best quality data and insight as easy as possible. That is why we’re launching ANIE Insight.

With several posts per day, covering product, ingredient and flavour analysis, in addition to pricing trends, new product launches and our take on the latest trends, it provides a wealth of information to fully immerse you into the world of active nutrition.

Sign up for a free trial and get 4 weeks of data on us by downloading the App on Android or Apple. If you’re already part of the club - good news, ANIE Insight is part of your subscription. Simply download and sign in with your existing login.

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