Who Eats Seaweed? An Australian Perspective
Current seaweed consumption and attitudes and preferences toward seaweed food products in a Western society are investigated to inform the seaweed industry regarding product development and marketing strategies. A national survey of 521 Australian consumers was conducted. About 75% of respondents had eaten seaweed; however, only 37% had consumed seaweed regularly over the past 12 months. Key drivers include health and nutritional benefits, taste, being natural, safe, and fresh. Critical barriers are lack of knowledge and familiarity, and the perception that seaweed is expensive. Females and younger, health-conscious consumers with higher household incomes and levels of education, who are more adventurous with food (neophilic), and who tend to snack and assign symbolic value to food are more likely to consume seaweed. Recommendations for the emerging seaweed industry in terms of target markets and relevant marketing strategies are presented and areas of further research proposed.
This is an Submitted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of International Food & Agribusiness Marketing on 14 December 2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/08974438.2018.1520182.