Is there a potential market for seaweed? A framed field experiment on consumer acceptance

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Department of Applied Economics and Statistics, University of Delaware, Newark, DE.
Novel foods, such as seaweed, often meet resistance in consumer markets even though their cultivation can largely benefit the environment. Therefore, research in consumer acceptance is needed before launching a novel food product into the market. We use a framed field experiment to investigate U.S. consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for three seaweed products – seaweed salad, kelp noodles, and a seaweed snack. The results suggest that there is a potential market for seaweed food products in the United States as 35% of participants chose to purchase at least one seaweed product. Demographic variables matter in consumers’ choices. For instance, we found a negative WTP premium for female shoppers and primary household shoppers and a positive WTP premium for individuals who had a higher level of education and who were interested in improving the healthfulness of their diets.
Novel foods, Seaweed, Willingness to pay, Framed field experiments