It’s no wonder, then, that functional mushrooms are among the most popular products in the wellness space. Experts say mushrooms help balance energy levels, boost immune function, aid digestion and enhance the skin’s natural glow.
But not all mushrooms capture consumers’ attention, according to Spate, which analyzes millions of consumer signals online to identify the next big trend.
“We’re not seeing growth for all mushrooms, but there is growing interest in Lions Mane and Turkey Tail,” said Yarden Horwitz, Founder and CEO of Spate.
Specifically, searches for Lions Main were up 8.9% from a year ago, while searches for Turkey Tail jumped 22.1%.
No entrepreneur makes a bigger bet on these mushrooms than Alli Schaper, co-founder and CEO, Into the Multiverse, Inc., a marketplace and education center for all things mushroom. Schaper is also the founder of SuperMush, a line of mushroom mouth sprays. Happi caught up with Schaper shortly after Super Mush launched.
Happi: Why are you so passionate about mushrooms?
Shaper: I believe mushrooms have the power to change the world, they have definitely changed everything about me. Mushrooms are truly misunderstood magic, and their innate wisdom can be distilled into countless life lessons to teach us how to be better with ourselves, with each other, and with the world around us. Functional (non-psychedelic) mushrooms have specifically transformed my personal health with gut issues that I have faced since I was a child, and the daily use of mushroom powders and supplements has had a profound impact on my overall vitality. I’m also extremely passionate about bringing psychedelics into the mainstream wellness debate. Most people have such a lack of clarity about the mushroom kingdom and even the fundamental difference between psychoactive mushrooms and supplements/adaptogens, and that’s a big part of the education we hope to put forward with The Multiverse and Super Mush.
Happi: You mentioned that mushrooms are now used in all industries. Why are they so popular? Can you give me examples of why they can “save the world”, as you mentioned in other interviews?
Shaper: There isn’t a single problem facing the world right now that mushrooms don’t have the capacity to endure and solve. Functional mushrooms can heal our bodies and are disrupting the entire consumer packaging landscape with everything from supplements to beverages, psilocybin mushrooms are used to treat serious mental disorders as part of psychedelic-assisted therapy across the world, and companies use the mycelium as eco-friendly. alternatives for packaging and even fashion. The potential of mushrooms to help us and our planet is truly extraordinary.
Happi: What makes SuperMush different from other products on the market?
Shaper: SuperMush is a functional mushroom brand and our goal was to create a high potency, travel friendly mushroom supplement that tastes great – most tinctures on the market taste like alcohol ). We created our daily superfood mushroom mouth sprays for energy, immunity and cold. Sublingually delivered and buccally absorbed mouth sprays are also the most effective way to ingest supplements and have the fastest absorption rates.
Happi: What came first? SuperMush or the multiverse? Why did you create the multiverse and how do you select products to integrate into the multiverse?
Shaper: We created The Multiverse to find, verify and test the best consumer mushroom products on the market for our customers to buy. All Multiverse products go through a strict approval process based on a list of our mushroom and wellness standards. We call them Fung-YES and Fung-NO. We created SuperMush shortly after launching The Multiverse because we couldn’t find a delicious, on-the-go supplement that made getting our daily dose of mushrooms easy and fun.
Happi: You’re a CPA, aren’t you? How does this fit in with your focus on all things mushroom? Do you see mushrooms becoming the next big thing in nutritional supplements?
Shaper: I’ve lived many lives over the past decade! I completed my Masters in Accounting and CPA with the intention of truly understanding the fundamentals of business and how to operate with financial efficiency. This education has been instrumental in financial projections, budgeting and fundraising. I absolutely believe that mushrooms are the future of MOST things, not just supplements. Humans evolved by eating mushrooms during some of the most crucial periods of human development and we believe they should be part of our daily routine due to their undeniable medicinal benefits.
Happi: What about beauty and personal care? What role do mushrooms play in formulations? Can you give me examples of uses of mushrooms in skin care formulas? What ingredients would they replace and at what levels?
Shaper: Reishi and Turkey Tail are popping up in a ton of skincare products, I’m no skincare formulation expert, but the fact that these functional mushrooms are all the rage in beauty is compelling to mushroom space collectively.
Happi: SuperMush sprays launched in November. How would you describe the launch? Did it meet expectations? Why or why not?
Shaper: Well, our launch video – watch it here on YouTube, was deleted by Instagram for a few weeks because they flagged it as selling illegal drugs. The good news is that the video generated a lot of attention and momentum for SuperMush, but also highlights how much education is needed in the field of functional mushrooms versus psychedelic mushrooms. We are really excited to be part of this story. Overall the launch was great and you can now find us at all seven Erewhon stores in Los Angeles as well as online.
Happi: What are the expansion plans for the company, SuperMush and the multiverse?
Shaper: Lots of fun partnerships in the works for 2022 that we can’t wait to share! We are extremely passionate about mental wellness and are bringing psychedelics to the mainstream wellness conversation. We recently launched a podcast, Into the Multiverse, which I’m excited to continue growing over the next year, as well as a “Future of Psychedelic Wellness” dinner series. We will also develop all aspects of Into the Multiverse. It’s our parent company and ecosystem focused on education for all things mushroom, with a mission to make functional mushrooms sexy and encourage collaboration within the psychedelics industry.
We have three pillars:
• The Multiverse, the world’s first functional mushroom market;
• Our internal SuperMush CPG brand, and
• Education and events to help catalyze psychedelics into the mainstream wellness conversation.