THE humble mushroom may be about to get a makeover worth about €2.76m.
A communications campaign – Just Eat Mushrooms – could be rolled out in Ireland and the UK, trumpeting the food's versatility, and trying to encourage hard-pressed shoppers not to ignore them on the supermarket shelves.
The Punt understands that Bord Bia, members of the UK Mushroom Bureau and a host of other agencies are expected to be involved in the campaign amid fears that consumer attitudes are posing a threat to the tasty fungus.
A tender document for the appointment of a provider for the promotion of mushrooms has painted a bleak picture if shoppers don't flock to supermarkets immediately.
"Without action, it is likely that the market for mushrooms will go into long-term decline with the attendant impacts on the national diets in both member states and employment in the sector."
The campaign's strategy is to increase the amount of mushrooms bought, especially among younger households, by emphasising the nutritional taste and versatility of the fungus. Funding is to be made up of €1.38m of EU money and €1.38m from the industry.
Let's just hope that in all the excitement, the budget doesn't mushroom.