Nosh

Watch: Four Sigmatic CEO Explains CPG’s Shroom Boom

Meagan McGinnes

What if there was a magic potion that could make you feel relaxed, rejuvenated and reinvigorated? Well there is, and the secret ingredient to this elixir is mushrooms — or so says coffee, tea and hot cacao maker Four Sigmatic, which has built its entire brand around the fungi.

Over the last year, mushrooms have popped up in products ranging from kombucha and coffee, to bars and beauty dusts. This “shroom boom” in CPG comes at a time when adaptogens — aka plants, such as mushrooms, with the perceived medicinal abilities to help the body resist stress — are seeing rising interest from consumers and retailers alike.

Mushrooms have been used medicinally for centuries, attracting devotees ranging from the Greek physician Hippocrates to more recent advocates like Gwyneth Paltrow. But while mushrooms have seen a spike in their popularity, access to the adaptogenic varieties have been limited for consumers.

Four Sigmatic founder Tero Isokauppila, a 13th-generation mushroom forager, wants to introduce all Americans — and not just those who visit the trendy cafes of L.A — to the powers of the mushroom. To do so, Isokauppila first started promoting the benefits of mushrooms online. He then launched Four Sigmatic in 2012, and most recently published his first book, Healing Mushrooms, last year.

During this year’s Natural Products Expo West, Senior Reporter Meagan McGinnes spoke with Isokauppila about the his love of mushrooms, why adaptogens are trending in food and how he is getting people to give his fungus-filled products a try.

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