Functional mushroom supplements are coming on strong in 2022! Consumers are seeking them out for their many health benefits and long history of safety and efficacy. As a strongly trending ingredient in the health and wellness market, their beneficial effects on immune, brain, and heart health, energy-boosting properties, are in demand… but there’s a lot to know about mushrooms!
This Ultimate Guide to Private Label Functional Mushroom Supplements will provide information about the many health benefits of functional mushrooms, which species of mushrooms are the most well-researched to provide these benefits, and the current category growth and consumer demand for safe and effective functional mushroom supplements. Lastly, it will provide important information about the different choices a manufacturer can make that will impact the quality and efficacy of the finished product, and what type of information should be critical on any functional mushroom label.
An Introduction to Functional Mushrooms
Humans have been using mushrooms as medicine for at least 5,000 years, although we have only recently begun to appreciate their powerful superfood benefits here in the West. Many scientists estimate there may be millions of different mushroom species in the world, but only a unique, much smaller group of them have been identified as containing health-boosting compounds. These specific types of mushrooms are packed with antioxidants, polysaccharides, and other unique compounds that science has shown may help provide cognition-enhancing, mood-boosting, immune-strengthening, stress-relieving, and anti-aging benefits, among others.†
Functional mushroom supplements might be made from the mushroom mycelium, the fruiting body, or both. They can also act as potent adaptogens, and are full of beneficial active compounds called polysaccharides. Some of the most well-researched functional mushroom species are reishi, chaga, cordyceps, lion’s mane, shiitake, maitake, turkey tail, king trumpet, and royal sun.
Trends and Targets for Private Label Functional Mushroom Supplements
Over the past several years, consumers have been discovering the “magic of mushrooms” at an astounding rate. Within the current high demand for safe and natural immune-supportive health products, mushrooms that provide immune support and other health and wellness benefits are at the top of the list for growth, even becoming the eighth-top-selling ingredient in the U.S. natural channel in a recent annual report.
There are four key factors driving functional mushroom growth:
- The pandemic, as people turn toward natural health and wellness supplements more than ever before.
- Millennials, who seem to be most concerned about their health as a demographic and are more than twice as likely to purchase supplements as a result of the pandemic.
- Adaptogens, which many functional mushroom species are and is an equally trending category for dietary supplements.
- ‘Do it yourself’ biology trends where consumers are seeking out nootropics or other supplements in order to “biohack” into improving their own health, wellbeing, or functionality of their body or mind.
With continued double-digit growth in the natural retail channel, it’s clear that the mushroom ingredient category is poised for mainstream success for many years to come.
What Makes a High-Quality Functional Mushroom Supplement
Manufacturing functional mushroom formulas is a tricky business, and there is a lot of disagreement and difference in the way these products are being produced. All mushroom growing techniques require the correct combination of temperature, humidity, and a growth medium (or substrate) for the mycelium. Within these basic needs, however, there are many choices a private label functional mushroom manufacturer can make.
Mushrooms will absorb whatever pollution might be in their surrounding air, and they will also accumulate whatever nutrients – or toxins – are feeding their underground network, so where the mushrooms are being grown is very important. As mushrooms basically feed off of whatever substrate they are growing on, it is critical that their food source is nutritious, clean, and if possible, sustainable. Additionally, mushrooms need to go through specific processes in order to “unlock” the beneficial components they contain, and manufacturers may use a variety of methods to accomplish this. Not all of these methods are ideal for preserving their nutritional integrity and density, however.
Important steps such as fermentation, dehyrdration, standardization, and testing can impact and support the efficacy and nutrient profile of the finished product. It’s also critical that the correct information be provided on the label of the finished product.
We hope that this guide will be helpful in providing important information about the different types of functional mushrooms and the benefits they offer, the current market trends and consumer demand for these products, and the various manufacturing methods that can significantly impact the quality of the finished product. As with all dietary supplements, a high-quality functional mushroom supplement will be manufactured in a cGMP (Certified Good Manufacturing Practices) certified facility employing advanced research, development, and quality control methods.
Looking to get started with private label supplements? The following links will provide additional information on what to look for when launching your own dietary supplement brand.