Export Growth for Maine Harvested Seaweed Supplier

"The Branded Program is a great help for small businesses seeking to expand their international footprint. We would not have been able to do as much as we did without it."

Ocean’s Balance is a vertically integrated company in Biddeford, Maine that produces innovative, edible seaweed products from sustainably farmed and harvested seaweeds from the Gulf of Maine. The company’s line includes Organic Whole-Leaf seaweeds, Organic Seaweed Flakes, Organic Seaweed Powders and blends milled to spec, a Furikake seasonings line, and an Organic Detox Smoothie Powder and Sea Moss Powder. Ocean’s Balance’s business lines include CPG, food service, pet food, and bulk sales to large end users in the human food, pet food, nutraceutical, and cosmetic industries. 

This Maine-based supplier, founded in 2016, has exported its CPG products since 2017. In 2019, it started using Food Export-Northeast’s Market Access Program funded Branded Program to gain brand awareness for its products in international markets. 

In 2023, Ocean’s Balance participated in the program to grow its brand in China and Canada. With established contacts in the Chinese market, Ocean’s Balance saw continued growth opportunities as its products were noticed by other buyers looking primarily for Dulse products. The Maine company used its Branded Program funding to ship product samples to these new contacts in hopes of establishing new bulk sales relationships.

The supplier used the funding provided in Canada to ship product samples. The company’s market strategies and Branded Program participation helped them earn over $300,000 in sales to Canada and over $150,000 to China last year. 2023 also marked the acquisition by Ocean’s Balance of a Canadian seaweed harvesting company in Grand Manan (New Brunswick), a custom-made industrial seaweed dryer, and an industrial hammer mill. Thanks to Branded Program funding and these acquisitions, Ocean’s Balance projects over $900,000 in sales to the two markets over the next twelve months with 75 new foreign buyer contacts and 24 established distributors. Lisa Scali, Director of Sales and Marketing with Ocean’s Balance, also shared, “The Branded Program is a great help for small businesses seeking to expand their international footprint. We would not have been able to do as much as we did without it.” 

Ocean’s Balance has participated in Food Export activities since 2020. It is a Food Export Branded Program participant who has also participated in Buyers Missions, webinars, and the Online Product Catalog. 

Food Export uses funding from the Market Access Program (MAP) to help America’s small businesses increase their exports of food and agricultural products. As these exports increase, these small businesses are creating jobs and improving the strength and stability of our agricultural economy. Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast are non-profit organizations that work in collaboration with their member state departments of agriculture and the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. They offer a wide range of programs and services that help boost America’s agricultural exports.

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New Foreign Buyer Contacts
 

Branded Program Success

Branded Program Utilization Success
 

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A company headquartered in the U.S.
Northeast region

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Each year, hundreds of U.S. suppliers participate in the Food Export–Midwest and Food Export–Northeast’s programs. As a result, companies are successful at generating new export sales, establishing new distributorship, expanding their production facilities,
and hiring additional employees. Read the Success Stories to learn more!

If your company has a success to share, email us at info@foodexport.org.

 

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