- Animals: shellfish
- Education and Training: farmer to farmer
- Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, agricultural finance, value added
- Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems, sustainability measures
Year-round availability combined with downward shrimp prices have changed shrimp's product position. Once shrimp was considered a luxury seasonal product, now it has become one of many commodities in the shellfish market. The largest size shrimp (20 count or larger) have a niche in the high end product market, while the other counts compete directly with imported shrimp. We propose to sustain economic viability of domestic shrimp harvesting by expanding the local market for value added products which contain only domestically harvested, small sized shrimp. We use two certification programs which provide consumers important information about their purchasing decision. By using both logos (Wild Georgia Shrimp and Georgia Grown) on the packaging for new value added shrimp products, we will expand our current product line and increase the return on small sized shrimp. The first product is a "natural seafood broth" made from the heads and shells of small sized shrimp which are deheaded and peeled. The second product is shrimp salad. It will include small sized shrimp as well as other locally grown ingredients (eggs, bell pepper, celery, and sweet pickles). Both products can be made during a single production run. The seafood broth will be made from byproducts (heads and shells) which account for 43% of the raw weight of a small shrimp. Heads and shells are typically discarded by processors and consumers. The local target market for the seafood broth is chefs and grocery stores. The local target market for the shrimp salad is restaurants, caterers, and hospital cafeterias. Market research and taste tests were conducted for the shrimp salad during a Georgia Grown trade show in Atlanta and at a local hospital cafeteria. The results were overwhelmingly positive.