Each season when Natural Products Expos East and West roll around, we cross our fingers that the predictions about the boom in seaweed-based products will come true.
After all, not only is seaweed rich in vitamins, minerals and protective antioxidants, but it's also a good source of protein, fiber and iodine. And although the vast majority of edible seaweed is produced in Asia, seaweed farming in places such as Maine has turned into an expanding regional business that helps rid the ocean of excess carbon dioxide and nitrogen, diversify coastlines and provide local fishermen and women with a means to deal with the effects of climate change on their traditional catch (lobster).
Even so, brands still face the challenge of how to make these marine vegetables appealing to American palates, meaning there's still plenty of room for the seaweed category to grow. Over the past couple of years, brands such as Blue Evolution, Ocean’s Halo and GimMe Snacks have helped get seaweed into stores and homes with their pastas, soups and snackable versions of these marine veggies, respectively.
The good news is that the natural foods industry at large seems to be catching on to the potential of this healthy sea vegetable, and we can only hope that the buzz around these products continues to grow.
As we prepare to discover new and exciting seaweed edibles at Natural Products Expo East this September, let’s take a look at some of the seaweed products that have made a splash over the past year.