December 5, 2023

Commercial Seaweed Market Size and Share: Exploring Opportunities

In recent years, the plant-based food revolution has experienced exponential growth, driven by health-conscious consumers seeking vegan products. This surge in demand for plant-derived foods has created a remarkable opportunity for the global commercial seaweed market. Seaweed, a natural and nutrient-rich marine crop, is emerging as a popular choice among consumers and industries alike for its unique contributions to dietary intake.

Seaweed’s Diverse Applications

Currently, approximately 80% of seaweed produced, whether in dried or fresh form, is consumed directly by humans. The remaining 20% is utilized by various industries. Seaweed plays a vital role as a natural food additive, offering thickening, stabilizing, and gelling properties. Notably, it has become a sought-after alternative to animal-based gelatine, expanding its applications across food categories such as dairy, meat products, and even pet food, positioning it as a commercially viable product.

Seaweed Goes Global

The global culinary landscape is embracing seaweed, which was traditionally associated with Asian cuisine. Restaurants in Europe and America are incorporating seaweed into their menus, catering to the growing demand for plant-based options. For instance, Amsterdam’s Dutch Weedburger offers a protein-rich soy and seaweed-based hamburger. In 2021, the company introduced two seaweed-based meat alternatives, Weed Burger and Weed Dogg, at 300 National Albert Heijn supermarket chains, further fueling the seaweed trend in Western markets.

A Nutrient Powerhouse

Edible seaweeds, anchored to the seabed, are abundant sources of protein, antioxidants, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. They contain essential nutrients such as iron, magnesium, potassium, iodine, silica, selenium, boron, and chromium. Recognized as a natural source of bioactive ingredients, seaweed is often referred to as the “Medical Food of the 21st Century.”

Diverse Industry Applications

Beyond the food and beverage industry, seaweed has found significant use in pharmaceuticals, serving as laxatives in pharmaceutical capsules and contributing to bone-replacement therapy, goiter treatment, cancer care, and cardiovascular health.

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Seaweed’s versatile properties extend to cosmetics, fertilizers, and animal feed, opening doors for its myriad applications across various industries. The wide industrial utilization of seaweed is anticipated to drive market demand in the near future.

Combatting Climate Change and Government Support

The demand for commercial seaweed is poised to increase, driven in part by regulatory authorities recognizing seaweed’s potential in combating global warming. Marine algae, including seaweed, contribute significantly to the Earth’s oxygen supply and absorb substantial amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Governments are offering subsidies for sustainable seaweed farming to support environmentally friendly practices, further boosting market growth from the supply side.

Food Segment on the Rise

In terms of segmentation, the global commercial seaweed market is categorized based on source, application, form, and region. Red seaweed, due to its extensive use in industries, particularly in pharmaceuticals and food, accounted for the largest value share in 2019.

The food and pharmaceutical segments are expected to collectively hold a significant share of the market, driven by consumer preferences for plant-based diets and the increasing demand for health supplements with natural ingredients.

Asia Pacific Leads, Europe Follows

Asia Pacific, with its historical consumption of seaweed as a staple diet, is poised to remain a key consumer of seaweed products. China, South Korea, Japan, and Indonesia are among the largest seaweed producers. As more seaweed products hit retail shelves, Asia Pacific is expected to lead the global commercial seaweed market.

Europe, on the other hand, is anticipated to offer excellent growth potential in terms of consumption. The rise of plant-based diets, influenced by social media trends and the global shift towards reducing meat consumption to address climate change, is expected to drive seaweed consumption in Europe.

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Key Players in the Market

Key players in the global commercial seaweed market include 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.

Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2023-2030 – By Product, Technology, Grade, Application, End-user, Region: (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East and Africa)

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This press release first seen on Brilad