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Roshan Deshmukh - Manager, Food and Beverages at Allied Market Research
According to a new report published by Allied Market Research, titled, “Seaweed Market," The seaweed market size was valued at $6.5 billion in 2021 and is estimated to reach $14.6 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 8.7% from 2022 to 2031.
Seaweed, also called macro-algae, belongs to several species of macroscopic, multicellular, marine algae. It is classified into three broad groups based on pigmentation, which include red, brown, and green seaweed. These seaweeds are mostly used as food and food additives in the Asia-Pacific region, notably in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea, and Japan, where seaweed production has grown to be a big industry. Seaweed farming is becoming an increasingly competitive market for food and related products across the globe.
The growing application of seaweed in various end-use industries is anticipated to drive the seaweed market growth. The rise in the pharmaceutical industry is expected to grow the product application scope in the industry. This, in turn, is also expected to boost the growth of the global seaweed market over the forecast period. The human food segment accounts for the highest share of the seaweed market, owing to an increase in the utilization of seaweed for human consumption. Substances that are extracted from seaweeds such as hydrocolloids make up most of the remaining market share, while smaller applications such as fertilizers, animal feed additives, aquaculture, biomass for fuel, and wastewater treatment make up the rest.
Substances that are extracted from seaweeds such as hydrocolloids make up most of the remaining market share, while smaller applications such as fertilizers, animal feed additives, aquaculture, biomass for fuel, and wastewater treatment make up the rest. An increase in demand for seaweeds in the manufacture of hydrocolloids, such as agar, alginate, and carrageenan, is anticipated to boost the demand for seaweeds during the forecast period. Agar, alginate, and carrageenans are premium seaweed hydrocolloids, which are used as gelation and thickening agents in different food, pharmaceutical, and biotechnological applications. Hydrocolloid polysaccharides have significant importance, both technologically and economically, since they are used in the food, pharmaceutical, medicinal, and biotechnological industries, due to their distinct physicochemical properties.
Companies worldwide are focusing their R&D efforts on technological innovations to expand the functionalities as well as applications of various types of hydrocolloids across several end-user industries. Furthermore, companies operating in the seaweed market are adopting various strategies to hold the highest share of the global market. For instance, in April 2022, Zeewaar was purchased by The Seaweed Company for an undisclosed sum. The Seaweed Company is a Dutch supplier of seaweed goods. By adding seaweed entries and components to the menus of European customers and enterprises, the seaweed company hopes to increase its position in the "Blue Food" market.
Seaweeds are being extensively explored as a fuel, due to their high photosynthetic efficiency and their ability to produce lipids, a biodiesel feedstock that is anticipated to open new avenues for seaweed manufacturers. Moreover, the high untapped market potential in North America and Europe is expected to boost the consumption of seaweed during the forecast period. However, unfavorable climatic conditions and fluctuations in the prices of seaweed hamper market growth.
Red seaweeds are the largest and most abundant of the seaweeds, and thus hold a dominant position in the global market. Furthermore, they have an economically important role throughout Asia-Pacific, due to the presence of phycocolloids such as carrageenan. The carrageenan produced from seaweed has a variety of applications in food production as a thickener and stabilizer. Thus, higher consumption of red seaweed in the food industry is expected to drive the growth of the seaweed market.
According to the market analysis, the seaweed market is segmented into product, application, and region. By product, it is segregated into red, brown, and green. On the basis of application, it is segmented into human food, hydrocolloids, fertilizers, animal feed additives, and others. Region-wise, it is analyzed across North America (the U.S., Canada, and Mexico), Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, and the Rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific (China, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, Japan, and Rest of Asia-Pacific), and LAMEA (Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa, Tanzania, and Rest of LAMEA).
On the basis of product, the red segment has gained the highest share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.8%. Red seaweeds are the largest and most abundant of the seaweeds, and thus hold a dominant position in the global seaweed market. Furthermore, they have an economically important role throughout Asia-Pacific, due to the presence of phycocolloids such as carrageenan. The carrageenan produced from seaweed has a variety of applications in food production as a thickener and stabilizer. Thus, the increase in consumption of seaweed in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to propel the growth of the seaweed market.
According to the seaweed market trends, depending on the application, the human food segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 8.6%. The human food application segment held the highest market share in 2021, as seaweeds are used in many maritime countries across the globe as a source of human food. In addition, Asia-Pacific, including China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea, and Japan, where seaweed cultivation has grown into a significant industry, is where these seaweeds are most commonly used as food and food additives.
Region-wise, North America garnered a significant seaweed market share in 2021 and is expected to maintain its market share throughout the seaweed market forecast period. The seaweed farming industry has developed in some countries of North America and Europe, unlike Asia-Pacific, where it is still in its nascent stage. In recent years, European policies have driven the development of seaweed cultivation as part of the European Unions Blue Growth initiative. In support of this initiative, countries across Europe are providing subsidies to study the possible applications of seaweeds across various end-use industries. Moreover, interest in seaweed cultivation has been peaking in recent years in North America, owing to its nutritional value as well as its richness in iron and protein content. Various innovative techniques such as vertical or 3D farming are adopted by seaweed farmers using the water column to grow seaweeds. Thus, all these factors together are anticipated to provide potential growth opportunities for the market during the forecast period.
The players operating in the seaweed industry have adopted product launch and business expansion as their key developmental strategies to expand their market share, increase profitability, remain competitive in the market and gain seaweed market opportunities. Some of the key players profiled in the seaweed market analysis include Cargill, Incorporated, Chase Organics, CJ CheilJedang Corp. , DowDupont Inc., GimMe Health Foods LLC, Groupe Roullier, Irish Seaweeds, Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, Inc., Mara Seaweed, and Qingdao Gather Great Ocean Algae Industry Group Co. Ltd.
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