Sea Crunchies will create snacks made from local seaweed

June 04, 2024

For marketing executive Jina Wye, seaweed has always been a big part of her diet. So when she first came up with the idea for Sea Crunchies, she said her initial goal was to reimagine some of her favorite seaweed snacks from her childhood.

“It sent me down a bigger rabbit hole learning about the native limu of Hawaii,” said Wye, who has spent the last 15 years of her career in the consumer packaged goods industry focused on launching and scaling food and beverage brands, including Dang Foods.

Now, she said, her goal is to “support the efforts to cultivate local limu as a food source.”

Sea Crunchies is in the pre-revenue stage, and Wye said she is currently focused on “doing a lot of research with the aquaculture community and connecting with academics in mariculture.”

She is in the process of developing Sea Crunchies products, which she said will begin with a line of crunchy seasonings and snacks, including furikake and crackers.

While Mana Up officials noted that it is not typical for a pre-revenue company to be accepted into the program, they said they are “excited about the innovative product development Jina brings in this category, using Hawaii-grown seaweed” and highlight the experience she has with other major brands.

“I expect to have a finished product later this year and be selling in 20 to 30 local retailers by this time next year,” Wye said. “I plan on focusing on the Hawaii market before looking towards the Mainland. I also would like to know more about our endemic seaweeds and what unique nutritional benefits we can harness, and be an agent for driving more seaweed cultivation as a food source.”

Eventually, she said, she would like to grow the company’s products to potentially include items like nori sheets and food additives that are derived from seaweed.

PBN is partnering with Mana Up to announce the 10 newest entrepreneurs joining Cohort 9 of its product business accelerator program, with profiles on each company slated to roll out one at a time through June 4. Stay tuned to, and check out the June 7 print edition for the full roundup.