The Edamame Market


December 31, 2003 - William A Knudson


Edamame (eh-dah-mah-may) sometimes spelled endamame, is a name of a family of soybean varieties that are used for vegetable production. Most edamame is used in Asia, but there appears to be a growing market for the product in the U.S. particularly as a substitute for lima beans (Konovsky et al, p. 5) and as a snack food. The U.S. is also developing species of edamame (Comis, p.1).

This paper provides a brief analysis of the market for edamame. This includes current uses and the potential for edamame in the U.S. and Michigan. Issues involved in marketing edamame will also be analyzed. 

Current Market

Worldwide edamame is a minor crop (Konovsky et. al, p.1). However, it popularity appears to be growing. Edamame can be used in salads, soups, stir fry, or stews (Ag Answers, p.1). In the U.S., edamame is found mostly in health food stores, or stores that specialize in Asian products. Edamame is consumed green. Furthermore, edamame beans are larger than traditional soybean varieties. Some believe that the demand for edamame will increase due to the heath benefits from eating the product. In 2002, the domestic price of edamame approached 4 dollars a pound (Bryant, p.1). Most of the edamame consumed in the U.S. was imported from Taiwan (Bryant, p.1). However, the U.S. is well suited to soybean production. Producers who are willing to meet the needs of this market have the opportunity to be successful. It has been estimated that the U.S. could produce in excess of 32,000 acres of edamame soybeans to meet domestic demand (Johnson et al, p.3). 


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