Commercial Seaweed Market

Global Industry Analysis (2017-2020), Growth Trends and Market Forecast (2021-2025)


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Plant-based Movement Opens Doors for Commercial Seaweed Market

In recent years, plant-based foods have attained a threefold growth. Growing number of health-conscious consumers have raised the demand for vegan products, boosting the consumption of plant-derived food products.

This has got the global commercial seaweed market an incredible opportunity. Seaweed is thus contributing to the movement, opening up a new choice for consumers with its unique value addition to dietary intake. Currently, about 80% of the seaweed produced, in dried or fresh form, is directly consumed by humans. On the other hand, remaining 20% is used for by industries. This ocean crop is widely used as a natural food additive by several industries.

Seaweeds are major sources of agar, agarose, and carrageenan, which are used as natural thickening, stabilizing, and gelling agents. Several gelatine manufacturers are harnessing seaweed’s capability to substitute animal-based gelatine. Such properties have broadened its application in various food categories including diary, meat products, and pet food amongst others, making it a commercially viable product.

Several restaurants across Europe and America have also taken a liking to seaweed, which was historically used in Asian cuisine. For instance, in Amsterdam, Dutch Weedburger offers a hamburger made from protein-rich soy chips and seaweed. In 2021, in order to complement its plant-based food offering the company launched two of its seaweed-based meat alternatives, Weed Burger and Weed Dogg at 300 National Albert Heijn supermarket chains. A developing palate for seaweed across western restaurants and supermarkets is expected to create potential opportunities for the global commercial seaweed market over the forecast period.

Anchored at the seabed, edible seaweeds are an undeniable source of protein, antioxidants, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. They are also rich in iron, magnesium, potassium, iodine, silica, selenium boron, and chromium. As a natural source of bioactive ingredients, seaweed has gained the term ‘Medical Food of the 21st Century’.

Besides the food and beverage industry, seaweed has gained significant application in the pharmaceutical industry. It is now being used as laxatives in the form of pharmaceutical capsules and is popularly being used in bone-replacement therapy, treatment of goiter, cancer, and for cardiovascular health.

Fairfield Market Research also ascertains that other industries such as in cosmetics, fertilizers, and animal feed are also using seaweed for its myriad properties. Wide industrial application of seaweed is expected to boost the market demand in the near future.

The demand for commercial seaweed is also expected to boost as regulatory authorities commented that seaweed could be part of combating global warming. According to The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marine algae produces nearly 50% to 80% of the earth’s oxygen supply. The World Bank also stated that the seaweed absorbs a huge amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In order to contribute positively to the environment, government bodies are offering subsidiaries for sustainable seaweed farming supporting the market growth from supply side.

Food Segment to Soar as Seaweed Makes Way to Nutritional Supplements

The global commercial seaweed market is segmented on the basis of source, application, form, and region. Based on source, the red seaweed segment accounted for largest value share in 2019 as it was extensively used across industries. The wide use of agar and carrageenan derived from red seaweed in pharmaceutical and food industries is expected drive the segment demand over the forecast period.

Based on application the food and pharmaceutical segments are collectively expected to hold a high value share over the forecast period. Growing consumer preference towards the consumption of plant-based food diet and rising demand for health supplements comprised with natural ingredients are expected to boost the segment growth over the forecast period.

Asia Pacific to Remain Key Consumer of Seaweed with Unchanged Staple Diet

Seaweed is native to Asian countries such Japan, China, and South Korea. Presently, there are 45 countries around the world involved in cultivating and harvesting commercial seaweed. China is one of the largest producers of seaweed followed by Korea, Japan, and Indonesia. Historically, these countries in the South Asia have always consumed seaweed as a part of their staple diet. Thus, as the trend continues with addition of more seaweed products on the retail shelves, Asia Pacific is expected to lead the global commercial seaweed market.

Meanwhile, in terms of consumption Europe is expected to hold excellent potential. Escalating popularity of plant-based diet due to emergence of veganism is expected to fuel the regional commercial seaweed market. Social media influences, clean eating fads, and strengthening trends to eliminate meat from lifestyle in light of global warming are expected to validate seaweed consumption trend across Europe during the forecast period.

Global Commercial Seaweed Market: Key Players

Incorporation of carrageenan obtained from seaweed in dairy products, such as cheese, ice-cream, in meat products and beverages is also expected to be boost the market.

Some of the major players considered in the report includes DuPont de Nemours, Inc, Cargill Incorporated, CP Kelco, Hispanagar, S.A, Industrias Roko, S.A., Agarmex S.A, Gelymar S.A., CEAMSA, Iberagar S.A., and Acadian Seaplants Limited.

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