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Journal number 3 ∘ Nino Gongadze
Heliculture and consumer attitude study in Georgia

Expended Summary

Heliculture, the practice of snail farming, has gained significant attention in recent years as a viable and sustainable agricultural activity. Snails are not only a delicacy in many cultures but also a rich source of protein and essential nutrients. In Georgia, the potential for heliculture as an emerging industry is evident, given the country's diverse natural resources and agricultural landscape.

While precise details about the history of snail farming in Georgia are not readily available, snails have been consumed as food in the region for centuries. In Georgia, the consumption of snails can be traced back to ancient times. Snails were considered a delicacy and were included in traditional cuisine. They were typically collected from the wild rather than being farmed systematically.

The commercial snail farming industry in Georgia is still in its early stages of development. As the industry evolves, efforts are being made to establish snail farms that breed and raise snails for commercial purposes. These farms typically focus on raising snail species that are suitable for consumption and are well-adapted to the local climate and environment.

Snail farming and consumer attitudes in Georgia are interconnected factors that play a significant role in the development and success of the heliculture industry.  Understanding consumer attitudes towards snail products is crucial for the successful development and promotion of heliculture in Georgia. The study aims to investigate the factors influencing consumer attitudes towards snail products and assess the market demand for such products in the country. By examining consumer preferences, awareness, willingness to purchase, perceived benefits, and potential barriers to adoption, valuable insights can be gained to inform the heliculture sector.

Consumer attitudes towards snail products in Georgia can be influenced by various factors, including cultural traditions, culinary preferences, health considerations, environmental awareness, and economic factors. While there is a long history of consuming snails in Georgian cuisine, the perception of snails as a mainstream food product may vary among different segments of the population.

This  Research  shows  that the use of snails in Georgia is still new for the population in terms of gastronomy, many of them look at it with suspicion and the attitude of vegetarians and vegans is also added to this. Also, snail meat is considered a delicacy and its production is more expensive. In addition, the population is not yet ready to pay large sums for it. There is a need for restaurants to highlight snail dishes on their menus and spread the awarennes , as consumers do not know where they can taste snail dishes. Snail dishes are not introduced in Georgian rural tourism either. However, there are several local restaurants in Javakheti that offer snail dishes, although all of these are not included in the tourist package.

As a recommendation, it can be said that various campaigns are needed, the involvement of tourism organizations together with the state and the private sector. The country should not only concentrate on exporting snail products, there is a need to increase the level of awareness and purchase at the local level as well.

Key words: Edible snails, Snal producing, Shelfish, Heliculture, Economy.