COVID-19 Impact on Pharmaceutical Packaging in Chemicals and Materials Industry

COVID-19 Impact on Global Shiitake Mushroom in the Food and Beverages Industry

  • Food & Beverage
  • Mar 09, 2021

COVID-19 Impact on Global Shiitake Mushroom in the Food and Beverages Industry

With the outbreak of COVID-19 from Wuhan, China, and then its widespread all across the world, the outbreak has affected millions. Thus negatively affecting the global economic growth. This economic downfall is beyond anything experienced in nearly a century. For Instance, according to World Bank, the economic growth in Asia-Pacific region is projected to fall by 0.5% in 2020. In addition, according to Economics Times, as estimated by International Labor Organization, due to COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, 81 million jobs were wiped out in Asia-Pacific, with 10% dip in labor income. Moreover, according to International Monetary Fund, the GDP of Europe has fallen by 40 percent in the second quarters due to the spread of virus. The pandemic has impacted all industries and sectors in the market in every aspect of supply and demand requirements.

As the market has disrupted due to the pandemic, there have been some changes across market, brought in by the change in the consumption pattern of the consumers. Among these the consumption of mushrooms, especially shiitake mushroom has increased among the consumers. The reason for this increased demand is the growing health awareness among the consumers and also during these peril times consumers have shown a keen interest in plant-based food.


CVD and Obesity are one of the diseased making the patients more vulnerable to the high risk of COVID-19. As through the years, there has been increase in number of population with obesity and CVD, there will be a significant rise in COVID-19 cases.

For instance,

  • According to World Health Organization (WHO), in 2019, almost half of the children under age of 5 who suffer from overweight and obesity lived in Asia.

Prevalence of Obesity among Adults, BMI >= 30 (Age-Standardized Estimate) (%)

COVID-19 Impact on Global Shiitake Mushroom in the Food and Beverages Industry

  • According to European Society of Cardiology, as per the report published in 2019, in Europe there are more than 11 million cases every year. In addition, CVD is the cause of 45% of the total deaths in Europe.

Age-standardized incidence of cardiovascular disease in some ESC member countries, 2017 (Incident rate per 100,000)

  • According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as per the data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, in 2017-2018, in the US obesity increased with age: 40.0% in the age group 20–39, 44.8% in the age group 40–59, and 42.8% in the age group 60 and over.

Prevalence of obesity among adults aged 20 and over, by sex and age: United States, 2017–2018

COVID-19 Impact on Global Shiitake Mushroom in the Food and Beverages Industry

Such instances have made consumers more aware about what they eat, as larger intake of calories, fat and carbohydrates result in increased risk to cholesterol, which increases the risk to obesity and CVD. Due to which consumers have been more conscious regarding the calorie intake form the food, and have shifted their preference to food products such as shiitake mushrooms. This is because shiitake has fewer calories, high protein and are rich in minerals.


In the beginning of 2020, the pandemic has resulted in a drastic increase in the demand for food and food supplements that are healthy in nature. A popular trend in consumers is a shift to vegan diet which is considered healthy. According to some researches, vegan community also seems to be at a lower risk of diabetes, cholesterol, obesity and other diseases.  As COVID-19 is at high risk in patients with obesity, the consumption of healthy and vegetarian food, such as shiitake mushrooms and others have increased in consumers, as they have low calories and boost immunity.

For instance,

  • According to Chef’s Pencil’s analysis of Google trend data, following are the most popular countries for veganism,

Popularity of veganism in some countries across the world scored out of 100, in 2020

COVID-19 Impact on Global Shiitake Mushroom in the Food and Beverages Industry


During this crisis time, health has become an imperative issue for consumer. From making smaller changes such as low calorie diet, gluten-free diet, to major lifestyle changes such as veganism, consumers have put health as a priority. As shiitake mushroom are well known vegan and other communities which eat meat as an alternative and for their high protein content, the consumption of these products is expected to increase with COVID-19 and after COVID-19.

For instance,

  • According to Financial Times, in 2020, plant-based alternative sales increased by 200 percent in the US due to closure of slaughterhouse.
  • According to Vegan Society, in 2020, the plant-based ready meal in the UK increased to 16%, rising from 3% in 2018.
  • According to Vegan Society, in 2020, the vegan population in Asia constituted to 13% of the entire population.
  • According to Vegan Society, in 2020, the vegan food market in Australia will reach USD 215 million from USD 200 million in 2019.

In addition, due to COVID-19 the few experts have estimated that the demand of mushroom such as shiitake will increase as they boost immunity of the consumers.

For instance,

  • According to article published by Down to Earth in 2020, Directorate of Mushroom Research has doubled the production of 4 mushroom strains including shiitake by 2 lakhs tonnes, due to medicinal properties of mushrooms.

Thus, depicting a positive impact on demand and major shift in consumers towards shiitake mushrooms.


The restriction imposed during lockdown has changed the mind-set of the consumers and business enterprises towards the online shopping and e-commerce platform that has augmented the growth of the market. The partnership with online delivery platforms such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Walmart Alibaba, Amazon and others has also supported the supply chain of shiitake mushroom in global market. With social media and e-commerce providing a huge platform for major and minor nut-based milk manufacturers, the consumers have been abled with ordering and pick-up at their convenience or get their order shipped at their locations. Few companies have also developed their own e-commerce platforms that have benefitted their supply chain, which has overall enhanced the demand of shiitake mushroom.


Pandemic has taken toll on every aspect of life, including the global economy. With the major downfalls in many sectors, a collaborative effort of government, industry player and consumers can win the fight against COVID-19. The general measures for public health include, awareness about home isolate, keeping up with the food and medical supplies, particularly for underprivileged people is carefully followed by governments around the world. During this pandemic circumstance, consumer awareness about high immunity has become a legitimate concern. Consumers have been shifting there buying presences from offline to online retails, to maintain social distancing. Lockdown mostly all over the world has resulted in disruption in the supply and demand chain. All sectors including shiitake mushrooms, has to suffer from various problems such as labor unavailability, inability to access markets, and lack in the availability of resources & raw material among others. But the situation is expected to improve due to increase in demand.