Groundbreaking Food-Tech Startup Secures $6.2M in Seed Funding – Wins Grow-NY Food & Ag Business Award
Mush Foods, the food-tech innovator behind a groundbreaking mushroom mycelium blend, today announced the launch of 50Cut for the US market, a unique line of chef-crafted mushroom root blends that improve nutrition and sustainability in ground beef, poultry, and fish dishes. Mush Foods utilizes a proprietary, highly efficient, and sustainable above-ground cultivation technique to rapidly grow a variety of culinary-grade mushroom roots. The launch is focused on empowering US restaurants and foodservices purveyors.
The company, which raised $6.2 million in seed funding in 2023, was named a Grow-NY Food and Agricultural Business Competition winner, demonstrating Mush Foods’ readiness to help transform the U.S. foodservice and restaurant industry by helping reduce meat consumption. Chefs swapping the 50Cut mushroom root blends into recipes, in place of some of the meat, can seamlessly enhance flavor and nutritional value, while improving cost and reducing the environmental impact in every dish.
“We’re grateful for the enthusiastic and early recognition we’ve received and are thrilled to launch a line of outstanding mushroom root blends we think chefs will love,” said Mush Foods Culinary Director AJ Schaller. “The Mush Foods team has unearthed an epicurean treasure, poised to solve some of our most pressing environmental challenges in a stunningly simple and seamless way. We’ve crafted a product that can help reduce meat consumption while enhancing flavor, juiciness, and yields.”
Mush Foods enters the market at a pivotal moment as nearly 1 in 4 consumers say they are attempting to cut back on meat. The ground meat category is estimated at $600 billion ($94 billion industry in the U.S. alone) while plant-based meat alternatives represent just 1.5% of the category.* Mush Foods is offering the market a flavor-first ingredient that gives chefs the culinary flexibility to meet evolving consumer needs.
The nutrient-dense mushroom root structure offers an umami-flavored, whole protein food source that sustainably boosts nutrition and flavor when blended into any dish:
- 100% natural wild mushrooms and mushroom roots
- Great source of dietary fibers including beta-glucan
- Complete protein with all nine essential amino acids
- Rich in potassium, iron, and calcium
- Dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free
- Umami flavor addresses culinary needs and cravings for those eager to reduce, not eliminate meat entirely
- Mushroom root and meat-blended recipes retain the flavor and mouthfeel of traditional full-meat foods.
- 50Cut Blends are crafted from a mix of wild mushroom varieties to create precise moisture, binding, flavor, color, and texture matches for beef, poultry, and fish.
- Reducing the amount of meat in any recipe slashes the land, water and energy required for every dish.
- Grown in a proprietary above-ground, controlled, lightless environment, Mush Foods’ innovative, solid-state agricultural technology enables mushroom roots to grow in an astonishing 8 days.
- All Mush Foods’ crops are grown efficiently in substrates made from upcycled local food and agricultural waste.
Mush Foods closed a $6.2 million seed round earlier this year. “To be a category leader in this space, a company must provide great flavor, price parity, and nutritional value,” said Yael Alroy, partner at Viola Ventures, Israel’s leading tech investment group, which led the round. “Mush Foods stands out in its ability to meet all three.” Other prominent participants in the seed round included TKH, the food-tech incubator; US-based Siddhi Capital, which focuses equity on CPG food and beverage brands including Momofuku Foods, Hint Water and Ripple; and ARC IMPACT Ventures, a VC accelerator with significant environmental and social impact potential.
“The support of visionary investors propelled our entry to market, enabling us to empower restaurants and foodservices purveyors to address urgent supply and environmental needs with groundbreaking and great tasting menu options,” said Mush Foods CEO Shalom Daniel.
Founded by food industry veteran Shalom Daniel (CEO) and renowned mushroom researchers Dan Levanon (Ph.D., Agriculture) and Idan Pereman (Ph.D., Biology,) Mush Foods grows mushroom mycelium using a pioneering above-ground, agricultural process to produce a great-tasting, sustainable ingredient for the restaurant and foodservice industry. Mush Foods’ 50Cut Mycelium Mushroom Blends are available for use in meat, poultry, and fish dishes to reduce the percentage of animal protein needed while enhancing nutrition, flavor, and sustainability. The Mush Foods team includes Culinary Director AJ Schaller, top food technologists, agronomists, sustainability experts, chefs, and R&D and food engineers working together to bring the next generation of nutritious, plant-based solutions to the food industry.
For more information, please visit https://mush-foods.com.
* Euromonitor international plant-based report 2021 | Fitch Solutions Macro Reports GFI plant-based protein report 2022 | Gallup poll, 2020 (Sept. 16-30, 2019)