Functional mushroom industry analysis
: consumer-centric innovation

  • Mieke Westenbroek (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The functional mushroom industry emerges at a time when health is a global issue and there is a reorientation towards health products. This research analyzes emerging mushroom markets, determining, and exploring the impact of specific market factors on consumption to improve market penetration and expansion of the mushroom industry. Empirical research was 3 conducted using in-depth interviews and a survey for a sample of mushroom consumers in emerging markets (Portugal and Canada). Several key findings emerged that can benefit mushroom industry stakeholders. By leveraging product information, the industry can provide consumers with tools to make good assessments and decisions about mushroom consumption. Price was not considered highly impactful for the sample of consumers; however, making mushrooms and mushroom products accessible pricewise using comparative pricing strategies can benefit the industry. Also, product-formats and solutions can be explored to improve limited shelf-life of current products. Researchers can perform consumer-focused data collection with an increased sample size to yield more applicable results and expand the scope to other countries with emerging mushroom markets in North America and Europe. Integrating stage-specific consumer-behaviour research into development processes can benefit both businesses and consumers alike. By introducing this consumer-centric research, the aim is to increase overall knowledge in the field, augment innovation strategies for functional food product development (FFPD), and ultimately improve market penetration and expansion for the functional mushroom industry.
Date of Award26 Jan 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorMiguel Rita (Supervisor)


  • Functional mushrooms
  • Mushroom industry
  • New product development
  • Functional food product development
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Consumer-centric innovation strategies


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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