From December 9 to 10, 2021, we worked with SUGIMOTO Co., Ltd. of Miyazaki Prefecture to promote their shiitake mushrooms at the Plant Based World Conference & Expo, a large-scale exhibition of plant-based foods held at the Javits Center in Manhattan.
The Plant-Based World Conference & Expo is a 100% plant-based food trade show held in North America and Europe that started in 2019. This exclusive event is only open to retail buyers, restaurateurs, distributors, investors, and other parties who work in the food business.
More than 100 booths were set up for this year’s exhibition, mainly by manufacturers of meat alternatives made from soybeans, peas, and wheat gluten protein. Due to growing health consciousness and concern for environmental issues, people have been searching for plant-based meat alternatives, and the field is likely to take off even further from here. New options are especially interesting to consumers, which makes the market a great place for companies like SUGIMOTO Shiitake.
The Boom is Coming!
We had an assortment of SUGIMOTO Shiitake’s fine shiitake products on hand, from dried donko and koshin mushrooms to shiitake powder. We also prepared a tasting of stewed shiitake mushrooms, which are rich in umami and have the reputation of being the “abalone of the mountains.” The marketing team carefully explained the characteristics of the mushrooms: how they’re made, the best ways to eat them, how they differ from other products, their nutritional value, and so on, as well as answering questions visitors had. We were able to provide fascinating facts, like the following:
“These mushrooms were grown using hardwood logs, without pesticides, and with the help of rainwater over two years.”
“They produce high-quality products in cooperation with 600 trusted local farmers.”
“Because we take the time to heat-dry shiitake mushrooms, finish them with far-infrared rays, and then irradiate them with UV light, the amount of vitamin D in our products is significantly increased, and you can enjoy the rich nutrition and flavor.”
More than 160 companies visited the booth, and many people asked for more information with the paper materials.
In the United States and abroad, mushrooms are attracting attention in the vegan and vegetarian markets, and shiitake mushrooms, with their thick earthy flavor, are in the spotlight. Presenting SUGIMOTO Shiitake’s products at the Plant Based World Expo let us experience that spotlight firsthand, and we are encouraged by the attention that we received, and eager to see where it takes us from here!
We will continue to support SUGIMOTO Shiitake’s products in the future, and look forward to updating you on our progress.