The Signal: Interest in Irish moss has recently re-emerged as it has built up its reputation as a superfood. This superfood trend has gathered steam alongside the COVID-19 pandemic and will likely remain popular moving forward, as an age-old remedy for many ailments, chief among them: respiratory illnesses.

Irish Moss (or “Sea Moss”) is a seaweed commonly found in the North Atlantic. Its main extract, Carrageenan, is used in everything from pharmaceuticals to pet food to fire-fighting foam. Now, growing interest from a niche group of health-conscious consumers has relaunched this seaweed as a superfood (though its medical claims are not proven).

While its recent resurgence was initially driven by a shadowy conspiracy theory (see the “meta-signal” below), coverage by YouTube creators and a celebrity mention from Kim Kardashian have propelled interest, with more than 55k exact match searches for “sea moss” and 21k searches for “Irish moss” on Amazon last month, an increase of 259% according to JungleScout.