While seaweeds have many applications, food is the most common one globally. More importantly, in Europe and North America, food is a market that is both high-value and potentially high-volume enough to drive profits and bring about larger-scale seaweed production, while the industry figures out how to lower the cost of farmed seaweeds to open high-volume, low-margin markets like chemicals and bioplastics.
Interesting article. My experience is people are still nervous about seaweed - what to do with it and what it might taste like. We make food seasonings with seaweed allowing people to use it in their everyday cooking without need for a special recipe or other fancy ingredients. It's a starting point and an opportunity to increase their curiosity and tastebuds.