The U.S. shrimp farming industry has been expanding in the southern U.S. in response to strong market demand for shrimp. U.S. farmers have difficulty competing with imports in frozen shrimp commodity markets. This study identified the shrimp purchasing behavior and preferences of seafood wholesalers and retailers in nine southeastern U.S. states to provide shrimp farmers the market information needed to develop successful marketing strategies. Results of a mail survey, including a conjoint analysis experiment, of the seafood dealers are presented and discussed. There appears to be strong market potential for fresh, farm-raised shrimp in a variety of sizes, but there is considerable dealer resistance to the whole or live, head-on shrimp form. Shrimp farmers interested in successfully marketing to seafood dealers may be required to process their product in order to offer shrimp tails, rather than whole shrimp.


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