Mushrooms make for smart snackin’

Modern youth are enjoying the current bevvy of healthy snack alternatives, and new food startups only continue to develop innovative products in this space. What’s the latest healthy snack hero? Look no further than the humble mushroom, a plant-based source of vitamins and fiber which, when dried, has a texture akin to jerky. What’s more, some mushrooms are also hailed for their adaptogenic properties, adding yet another benefit to this ‘shroom boom.


Pan’s Mushroom Jerky is a new shiitake mushroom “jerky” boasting “no meat, no soy, just ’shrooms.” When visiting family in Malaysia, Pan’s founder Michael Pan discovered that his family (many of whom were vegetarian Buddhists) had been eating shiitake mushrooms in place of meat for decades. He tweaked the recipe when developing Pan’s offering, formulating a gluten-free, high fiber, and antioxidant-packed mushroom treat that fits dietary preferences across the spectrum. Pan’s Mushroom Jerky currently comes in seven different flavors (including Applewood BBQ and Zesty Thai) and retails for around $9 per package.


South Mill Champs, one of the largest mushroom growers in the U.S., is entering the mushroom snack arena with the launch of Shrooms Snacks, the company’s new snack food venture. Shrooms Snacks boasts four lines of mushroom-based snacks: Crispy Mushrooms, Mushroom Jerky, Splits Jerky, and Snack Bars, all of which are made from whole mushrooms. While Shrooms Snacks come in a wide range of flavors (which primarily skew salty and savory), the brand also offers a Crispy Mushroom Chocolate Chunk snack bar that is allergy-friendly—and certainly unique to the burgeoning mushroom snack market.


Israeli snack startup The Mushroom Benefit offers consumers the savory taste of umami with its latest line of Umamis Crunchy Snacks. The snack is formulated with king oyster mushrooms and corn, giving the snack a puffed texture and a savory taste. Snackers have their choice of Natural Flavor, BBQ, Salt and Vinegar, and Salt and Pepper flavors, and can snack in peace with the reassurance that the plant-based mushroom munchies are made with all-natural ingredients and contain zero artificial flavors or colorings. What’s more, The Mushroom Benefit touts the snack as “delivering mycotherapeutic functionality,” wherein the naturally-occurring compounds in mushrooms are utilized to boost human health.