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Seaweed on Dike of Centrair Airport Island Commercialized into Product - Commemorating 5th Anniversary of Airport Opening

Seaweed on Dike of Centrair Airport Island Commercialized into Product - Commemorating 5th Anniversary of Airport Opening

The specially designed logo design for Centair's 5th Anniversary of Airport Opening. Photo=Centrair

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On December 22, Chubu International Airport (or “Centrair”) in Tokoname, Aichi Prefecture announced that it has made commercial products of the natural akamoku seaweed collected from the dike on the airport island, and that it will be sold in the spring of 2010.

Centrair is developing its Sea Harvesting & Sales Project to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the airport’s opening in collaboration with local fishing cooperatives. The purpose of the project is “to develop and popularize new local products with new foods grown and raised in the plentiful seas around the airport...to foster a partnership between the seaside airport and fisherman...[and] to contribute to the local area through dietary education.”

The product is divided into 40 grams of bite-sized portions of shredded akamoku seaweed eaten with sauce. The name of the original Centrair brand is as yet undecided. In 2010, the project will move ahead with collecting seaweed, developing the sauce, package design, naming the brand and negotiations with retailers, followed by initiatives for recipe research and processing. Centrair is aiming for a March or April start to sales.

According to the airport, there is an estimated 270 tons of naturally growing seaweed on the north shore of the airport island. Six to seven tons will be collected annually through the project, and plans are to produce roughly 120,000 packs. Sales will be made at local retailers, in the airport and at Tokoname restaurants with a goal of 7 million yen in annual sales.

The three to six meters of akamoku seaweed that grows naturally every spring on the airport island dike is rarely harvested and is typically not eaten in the local area, but it is known to have a firm texture and to have plenty of nutrients such as minerals. This is the first time this seaweed will be commercialized as a product.

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