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Investors Bank on Mushroom-Infused Wellness Products
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Investors Bank on Mushroom-Infused Wellness Products

Functional fungus: The performance-boosting and wellness promises of Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps mushrooms are resonating with Gen Z

Wellness is a top priority for consumers, and Americans are reaching for vitamins and supplements more than ever, having resulted in the largest year-over-year sales growth in the performance and recovery, mood and digestion categories. Helping to fuel growth through 2024 and beyond? Mushrooms, which pack wellness-supporting adaptogenic properties.

Spacegoods, a DTC wellness brand of powder blends packaged in out-of-this-world packaging with Gen Z and social media-ready product names like ‘Rainbow Dust’ and ‘Astro Dust’ hit the market to provide energy and relaxation when needed, both intended to be mixed into a beverage of choice. Like other functional mushroom startups, Spacegoods has infused its products with Cordyceps and Lion’s Mane.

A hit on TikTok, the London-based next-gen wellness brand just announced a $3.1 million seed round, with its founder, Matthew Kelly, telling TechCrunch that he predicts Spacegoods can increase revenue 3x that of its 2023 results. The brand is also planning to launch additional powder flavors and gummies. 

credit: Spacegoods

Mushrooms are also expanding past capsules and powders into functional beverages, as seen with Odyssey, a functional beverage brand that infuses Lions Mane and Cordyceps. Touting a proprietary functional mushroom-based formula, Odyssey has investors all in on its wellness-supporting and ready-to-drink products, having just completed a $6 million funding round.

Another functional mushroom brand, FreshCap, just secured a nationwide retail partnership with GNC to sell its organic, non-GMO products formulated to boost immunity, energy and cognitive function, and relieve stress with its Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps and Ultimate Mushroom capsules.

Founded in Canada in 2015 as a gourmet mushroom farm, FreshCap’s arrival on GNC’s shelves comes as customers have been inquiring about the benefits of functional mushrooms and requesting products packed with mushroom magic, particularly that of the Lion’s Mane variety. The brand was acquired by consumer product goods company Heyday last year, leading to a 70% year-over-year sales increase.

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Shrooms as a Ticket to Longevity

As research suggests, incorporating mushrooms into a diet may promote health and well-being. The practice of doing so (and subsequent emerging products) may appear trendy, but mushrooms have been used for medicinal and nutritional purposes for centuries.

Fungi is also found to be a significant component of diets in blue zone regions, areas where residents tend to enjoy a longer-than-average lifespan, such as Okinawa, Japan. A “longevity hotspot,” the fifth largest island of Japan prizes mushrooms for their benefits. 

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