[Excerpt] Shrimp has become a popular purchase for American consumers, with U.S. consumption of shrimp reaching 3.8 pounds per person in 2012. Demand for shrimp has increased over the years, and shrimp is currently the largest imported seafood species, accounting for 29 percent of seafood imports by dollar value. In 2013, consumers and businesses found themselves paying higher prices with less product available in supermarkets and restaurants. For example, the popular restaurant chain Red Lobster recently saw a 35-percent increase in the price the company paid for shrimp. The price hike contributed to a 3.1-percent increase in the company’s overall food costs and, more recently, an 18-percent decrease in earnings during the quarter that ended in February 2014. Similarly, Noodles & Company noted that the cost of shrimp in its pasta dishes would rise 29 percent this year.