“Sweet Petite” Value Added Processing for Small Sized Shrimp

Project Overview

FS09-234
Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2009: $9,932.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Principal Investigator:
James Dubberly
Dubberly's Seafood

Commodities

  • Animals: shellfish

Practices

  • 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

    Summary:

    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 sizes compete directly with imported shrimp.

    We proposed to improve the economic viability of domestic shrimp harvesting by expanding the local market for value added products containing only domestically harvested, small sized shrimp. Two certification programs were utilized providing consumers important information about their purchasing decision. General marketing was accomplished through our affiliation with the Wild Georgia Shrimp program. Product packaging utilized the Georgia Grown logo along with our own brand, Sweet Savannah Shrimp, which is reserved for all natural shrimp products harvested and prepared by Dubberly’s Seafood.

    The first product was an all-natural shrimp salad made from small sized shrimp. It included small sized shrimp which were deheaded and peeled combined with other locally grown ingredients (eggs, bell pepper, celery, and sweet pickles).

    The second product was an all-natural seafood broth made from the heads and shells of small sized shrimp. The heads and shells account for 43% of the raw weight of a small shrimp. Heads and shells are typically discarded by processors and consumers. Both products were made during a single production run.

    During the project, a third product was developed, Sweet Savannah Shrimp Cakes, with a substantially longer shelf life than the shrimp salad. Sweet Savannah Shrimp Cakes were designated a 2011 Flavor of Georgia contest winner in the meat and seafood category. That recognition increased sales of the new product.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.