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Davis, C.
Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center
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Long-term goals: MAIC aims to support the growth of the marine aquaculture industry by expanding opportunities in seaweed farming. The primary objective of this project is to measure U.S. regional consumer attitudes and preferences for farmed seaweed and value-added products to identify and estimate the size of seaweed market opportunities for new and established aquaculture operators. This project will provide vital data for sea farmers to make market-driven business planning decisions that can improve production and distribution strategies. Specific objectives include:Develop and implement a robust, consumer preferences survey on domestic farmed seaweed and value-added products across a nationally-representative sample from the nine U.S. census regions further balanced by age and gender.Analyze data to determine consumption habits, awareness of edible seaweed and its various species, purchasing behavior, preferences, perceived benefits, perceived quality, and willingness to pay for seaweed stratified by region and by product.Complete a findings report detailing all methodologies and findings of the study.Create an interactive data dashboard displaying findings by product and by region that can be filtered by key demographic characteristics such as age, gender, income level, education status, and household size.Engage in extensive outreach efforts to disseminate study results and tools to seaweed farmers and other aquaculture operators, seaweed and aquaculture associations and organizations, local food organizations, extension offices, and other key stakeholders.Users of the data dashboard will be able to analyze data by seaweed type or value-added product and location (national, regional, local), and can overlay key demographic variables such as age, gender, income, and education to gain a deeper understanding of the market opportunities and target populations specific to their areas.The findings report and data dashboard will be freely available and widely publicized through the outreach activities described in Task 7 in Subsection (c) i. Stakeholders in the marine aquaculture industry will be able to use our tools to discover information needed to make market-driven, rather than supply-driven, business decisions.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
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Education and Training
Food Defense and Integrity