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Chinese edible fungi supplier eyes bigger role in US market

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-08-06 12:48
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Starting from 2013, Qihe has set up five subsidiaries in the United States, enjoying a dominant role in the shiitake mushroom market in the country.

Beside Shiitake mushroom, Qihe is also cultivating gray oyster mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms, yellow oyster mushrooms and lion's mane mushrooms here in small quantities.

"The mushrooms here are really incredible... I'm very excited to be here and have a taste of the mushrooms," said Alec Lasko, a resident in Cedarville of Cumberland County.

Though mushrooms in American culture aren't as popular as those in Chinese culture, a lot of Americans are discovering different cultures around the world, especially Chinese food and mushrooms, said Lasko, who sees specialty mushrooms as a neat product in the US market.

It's learnt that button mushrooms, portabella and baby bella mushrooms take the vast majority of the US mushroom market while consumption of shiitake mushroom is growing at around 15 percent each year.

Sales volume of mushrooms totaled 758 million pounds in 2020-2021 US mushroom crop with sales value of $1.06 billion, according to a report by the US Department of Agriculture.

Around 120 containers of mushroom spawn logs are imported to the United States from China each month with 40 to 50 containers serving Qihe's mushroom growing farms and the remaining sold to outside mushroom growers in the United States, Du told Xinhua.

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