What do people think about eating seaweed? - A selection of the Norwegian population has spoken!
Sep 20, 2023

Photo credit: Audun Iversen, Nofima


Siril Alm, an associate professor at the School of Business and economics, UiT The Artic University of Norway has carried out a study with six focus groups among the Norwegian population. The purpose of the study was to unveil which attitudes Norwegian consumers have toward eating seaweed, and what information they are missing about this unfamiliar food product.

The participants were recruited through Facebook, and out of 126 volunteers, 36 were chosen to join digital focus groups based on a questionnaire to represent one segments of consumers who enjoy cooking and tasting new foods, while the others are more conservative in their cooking and consumption. Participants had varied demographics, such as gender, income and place of residence. This week the main findings were presented by Siril in a Teams presentation.


Here are some main findings of the six focus groups:

The participants discussed the price of seaweed products:


Environmental impact was discussed as well:


Surprisingly all groups discussed that seaweed may have a high content of iodine and heavy metals, but no-one mentioned this in a positive setting and as a solution to the general iodine-deficiency among the Norwegian population.

To summarize the findings, participants gave some recommendations to the seaweed industry:

As an immature food ingredient, it appears as the users/consumers need more knowledge about the origin and as a food products, as well as how to prepare seaweed in food.