Common Mistakes Shrimp Buyers Make and How to Avoid Them

Shrimp is one of the most consumed seafood in the world. These little crustaceans are the most widely served seafood in America. They have thin shells and live at the bottom of rivers, oceans, and lakes.

Renowned as versatile culinary ingredients, shrimps can be made into many tasty dishes such as shrimp soups, sashimi, and shrimp creole. From being baked to boiled, grilled, and even barbecued, there is hardly any form of cooking shrimps can’t undergo.

Shrimp are also highly nutritious as they are very low in calories but rich in protein. Not only are they abundant in magnesium, niacin, and vitamin B12, but they also contain antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. A particular type of antioxidant called Astaxanthin is found in shrimps.

The reddish colour of shrimp cells is attributed to its presence in their bodies. Astaxanthin has anti-inflammatory effects in the body that could prevent brain damage and development of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.

This antioxidant also improves the health of the heart by causing an increase in the level of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. Also, shrimp are rich in Iodine. Iodine is needed for the synthesis of the thyroid hormone which is necessary for proper metabolism in the body. A deficiency in this mineral can lead to goitre.

Due to its delicious taste and the health benefits it delivers, shrimp are highly sought after in the international market. This makes it a very good choice for an import business. However, buying shrimp for import comes with its challenges. There are certain avoidable mistakes shrimp buyers make that can be very costly.

Here are three of these common mistakes and how they can be avoided.

Not Doing Proper Research Before Investing

It is not news that some shrimp buyers lack an in-depth understanding of the business and all that it entails. The shrimp business is a very volatile one and one that demands full knowledge from whoever chooses to go into it.

There’s a lot to know about shrimps. The types that exist, the countries to source for them, whether they are farmed or wild grown, consumer quality expectations, among others. There are many species of commercially sold shrimp.

The most popular one is the tiger shrimp which are easily identified by the brown markings on their bodies. They are the best source for in Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, and China.

Another type of shrimp is the brown shrimp. These have a kind of mineral taste and are small with purple markings on their tails. They are mostly found in the Gulf of Mexico so it only makes sense to try to source for them there as it will be cheaper.

Knowing all this information is very important as it will save a buyer from unnecessary stress and waste of money. To avoid this mistake of ignorance, shrimp buyers should take time to research on the on all the aspects of the business. They should also check the cost of importing the shrimp into their country and which producing country offers the best prices.

Buying Shrimps at Inappropriate Times

Every Shrimp-producing country has purchasing windows throughout the year. Usually, shrimp are harvested about 2 to 3 times each year but these harvest times are different for each country.

Buyers sometimes make the mistake of assuming that anytime is the perfect time to buy shrimps as long as they are available. But this mentality can cause buyers to overpay for shrimp.

For instance, black tiger shrimp are farmed in countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and China. Each country has a time when the shrimps will be freshly harvested and available at a price lower than usual due to high availability.

These purchasing windows fluctuate as many factors keep them in flux. The factors include weather patterns, disease, exchange rate, feed price, and so on. It is in the best interest of buyers to do their research on this and also employ the services of professional suppliers and brokers. These experts understand the situations on the ground better than anyone and can tell when it’s the right time to make purchases.

Giving Inadequate Specifications to Suppliers

Specifications describe the important features in shrimp such as size, moisture content, colouration, and taste. One of the biggest mistakes shrimp buyers make is not being specific enough with these specifications.

This gives room for suppliers to make annoying assumptions and interpretations that may lead to serious problems for buyers. The quality of the shrimp purchased may be compromised and the buyer will lose money and credibility.

To prevent this, specifications should state explicitly the type of shrimp the buyer wants, the size, preferred freezing technique, quantity, moisture content, shipping terms, preferred packaging and so on.

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