- Mushroom producers are working to increase their yields but still struggling to keep up with demand, according to The Packer.
- "The Blend" initiative to mesh diced mushrooms with meats for a more sustainable diet has gained steam in recent years, boosting mushroom sales by pound 9.7% YoY in January 2017 and 5.7% in January 2016.
Weather issues and labor woes are restraining suppliers' ability to meet retail, foodservice and industrial demand.
There is an old saying about mushrooms that may be applicable to supply chain managers from time to time:
I feel like a mushroom, kept in the dark and fed a diet of bull----.
Being kept in the dark is really the key to that sentence. The mushroom shortage might have been better managed with some effective sales and operations planning (S&OP).
S&OP in its simplest form is the process of matching supply and demand in manufacturing and service companies. The companies can establish a plan for allocating resources and determining the strategy for meeting customer demand, typically six to 12 months into the future. In this case, it's plenty of time to match supply and demand in the mushroom market.
S&OP addresses three questions: how do we sell it, how do we make it, and how do we pay for it? While this may sound relatively simple, the S&OP process can be a challenge in many companies due to poor communication, internal politics or a lack of adherence to the activity itself. It sometimes minimizes, or even ignores, the importance of suppliers and the performance of the integrated supply chain.
The increased demand for mushrooms as a meat extender and even as a new product at a national fast food chain should not have caught the mushroom growers off guard. All business, manufacturing and service companies should use a formal S&OP process to manage their business, taking into account changing market conditions. Procurement and the supply chain folks need to be in the mix… and not kept in the dark.