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  • Published In : May 2024
  • Code : CMI6942
  • Pages :135
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Food Ingredients

Market Size and Trends

The Global Commercial Seaweed Market is estimated to be valued at USD 10.66 Bn in 2024 and is expected to reach USD 12.67 Bn by 2031, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.5% from 2024 to 2031.

Commercial Seaweed Market Key Factors

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The demand for commercial seaweed is expected to grow significantly over the next years. Key factors such as increasing application of seaweeds in the food industry for texture and flavor enhancement, rising usage of seaweeds for agricultural applications such as soil conditioners and fertilizers, growing consumer preference for vegan diet and plant-based foods, surging adoption of alginate from seaweeds in industries like textile printing, paper manufacturing, etc., and rising consumption of carrageenan in dairy and personal care products are expected to drive the demand for commercial seaweeds. Moreover, the increasing consumption of seaweeds as dietary supplements owing to rising health awareness among consumers is further expected to propel the market growth during the forecast period.

Utilization in food and beverages

The utilization of seaweed in food and beverages is a major factor influencing the expansion of the commercial seaweed market. Seaweed is being widely used in diverse food and beverage products due to its various health benefits and functional properties. Seaweed contains vital micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibers. It has proven anti-inflammatory and cardio-protective effects. Seaweeds are also a sustainable and eco-friendly source of proteins, carbohydrates and antioxidants. Given these compelling benefits to health and wellness, food and beverage manufacturers are increasingly exploring different ways to incorporate seaweeds into their existing product lines as well as developing new seaweed-based food innovations. Snacks and salads are among the most popular food categories where seaweed finds widespread usage. Seaweeds add unique textures and flavors to snacks while also fortifying them nutritionally. Beverages infused with seaweed extracts are also gaining foothold. For example, according to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) data, the consumption of seaweed-based snacks grew by 83% between 2016-2020 in advanced markets like North America and Europe. The rise of health-conscious consumers, clean label trends and the shift towards plant-based diets are propelling this sector. Looking forward, factors such as continuous seaweed production expansion by cultivators, the scaling up of seaweed-based product development through technological advancements and innovative product marketing by food giants will further cement the role of seaweed in the future of food and beverages. This will, in turn, drive sustained growth of the commercial seaweed marketplace globally.

Market Concentration and Competitive Landscape

Commercial Seaweed Market Concentration By Players

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Utilization in agriculture and animal feed

Commercial seaweed finds application as fertilizer, soil conditioner, and feed additive in agriculture and animal husbandry. Kelp meal obtained from seaweed biomass is a bio-stimulant that enhances plant growth and crop yields when added to soil. It improves the water retention and aeration of soil. Seaweed extracts act as natural biostimulants that stimulate the growth of roots which helps plants withstand drought and diseases. The rise of organic and sustainable farming practices has driven interest in seaweed based inputs. For the livestock industry, seaweeds act as prebiotics that promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Their use in animal feed modulates immunity and oxidative stress. Seaweeds help improve feed conversion efficiency and productivity. The aqua-culture sector also utilizes seaweeds as natural fertilizers and food for shrimp, salmon, and other farmed fish. As commercial seaweed production increases to meet the rising demands from agriculture and animal husbandry, more investments are being made in seaweed cultivation and processing infrastructure.

Commercial Seaweed Market Key Takeaways From Lead Analyst

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Challenges: Cultivation, Harvesting, and Consumer Awareness

The global commercial seaweed market is still in a nascent stage and faces challenges in widespread cultivation and harvesting of seaweed. As seaweed farming requires expertise and appropriate infrastructure, high initial investment costs pose challenges for new entrants and smaller players to enter into commercial seaweed production. Moreover, demand for seaweed products needs to be further boosted by increasing consumer awareness about nutritional and health benefits of seaweed.

Opportunities: Rising popularity of plant-based, healthy diets

The rising popularity of plant-based, healthy diets presents significant opportunities for growth in the commercial seaweed market. With consumers becoming more health-conscious, seaweed use is steadily growing in food applications due to its high mineral and vitamin content. There is also a growing scope of seaweed utilization in non-food industries like hydrocolloids manufacturing, fertilizers, biofuel, and personal care products. This opens new avenues for commercial seaweed producers to cater to diverse industrial demand.

Commercial Seaweed Market By Type

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Insights, By Type: Versatility of Applications Driving Green Seaweed Segment Growth

In terms of Type, Green seaweed contributes the 48.2% share of the market owing to its versatility in applications across several industries. Green seaweeds such as Ulva and Monostroma are commonly used across Asia for human consumption and as ingredients in snacks and sushi rolls due to their mild flavor and nutritional profile. Rising health consciousness and demand for plant-based proteins have further supplemented the consumption of sea vegetables including green seaweeds. Their high content of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants have made green seaweeds popular as dietary supplements for boosting immunity. Green seaweeds are also used extensively as an ingredient in cosmetics and personal care products due to bioactive compounds that impart anti-aging and moisturizing properties. Major players capitalize on these attributes by incorporating green seaweed extracts in products ranging from face masks to shampoos. Additionally, green seaweeds find applications as animal feed additives to improve gut health and energy levels in livestock and aquaculture farming. Their ability to thrive in water bodies with varying salinity levels also makes them suitable for integrated multi-trophic aquaculture systems.

Insights, By Form: Leaf Form Driving the Highest Consumption in Agriculture and Animal Feed

In terms of Form, the Leaf segment contributes the 38.9 % share of the market owing to its widespread use particularly in the agriculture and animal feed applications. The leafy form of seaweeds such as kelps and wracks can be directly applied as organic fertilizers to enrich soil nutrients and stimulate plant growth. Agricultural applications of seaweed benefit from leaf form enabling even distribution across fields to maximize bio-stimulant effects. Meanwhile, seaweed leaf is the preferred format incorporated in cattle and poultry feed due to higher palatability and digestibility compared to powdered and flake forms. Cattle farmers prefer sieving and mixing leafy seaweeds into animal feed rations to boost fiber and mineral intake. Nutrient-dense leaves help improve meat and milk yield as well as stomach health of livestock. Manufacturers also prefer the leaf form for ensiling and preparing storage-stable seaweed feed additives. Its natural structure ensures balanced nutrient release crucial for gut microbiome modulation in poultry and swine.

Insights, By Application: Health Benefits Driving Human Consumption

In terms of Application, human consumption contributes the 38.8% share of the market owing to proliferating health benefits research of seaweeds. Seaweeds such as nori, wakame, and kombu have seeped into Asian diets for centuries but their popularity is now growing globally. Mounting evidence links regular seaweed intake to reducing risk of chronic illnesses. For instance, compounds such as fucoxanthin in brown seaweeds assist weight management and hypertension treatment. Meanwhile, components like alginates in kelp aid digestion and blood sugar regulation. Consumer perusal of nutrition labels reflecting seaweeds' mineral density especially calcium, iron, and iodine has stoked their addition in food products like soups and salads. Artisanal snack makers tout seaweed's fiber content and umami flavor as ideal ingredients for crispy kelp chips and seaweed-based cracker lines. Meanwhile, their proven prebiotic properties induce gut microbiome optimization now attracting health-conscious demographics. Medical practitioners also recommend seaweeds to patients with anemia and obesity issues further driving human consumption.

Regional Insights

Commercial Seaweed Market Regional Insights

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The Asia Pacific region has dominated the global commercial seaweed market for the past several decades. Countries like China, Indonesia, Philippines and Japan have been cultivating seaweed for commercial purposes at a large scale with 38.8% share. These countries not only have extensive coastlines conducive for seaweed farming but also have built significant expertise in manufacturing processed seaweed products. Particularly in China, seaweed farming is a major economic activity that generates employment for thousands of people living along the coastal regions. The Chinese seaweed industry is highly organized with major companies controlling domestic as well as international sales. Seaweed exports have been a major source of foreign exchange for China.

The Europe region has emerged as the fastest growing market for commercial seaweed in recent years. Countries like Ireland, Norway and France have invested heavily in seaweed aquaculture to meet the increasing demand from both food and non-food industries. These nations promote seaweed farming as it provides an eco-friendly and sustainable source of income to the coastal communities. Seaweed is also gaining popularity as a healthy food ingredient among European consumers. Many Irish and Norwegian seaweed producers have achieved international product certifications that help them access the lucrative American market as well. The growing health-conscious demographic and stringent regulations around sustainable sourcing are fueling the commercial seaweed consumption in Europe.

Market Report Scope

Commercial Seaweed Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2024: US$ 10.66 Bn
Historical Data for: 2019 To 2023 Forecast Period: 2024 To 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 2.5% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 12.67 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, and Rest of Middle East & Africa
Segments covered:
  • By Type: Brown seaweed, Red seaweed, and Green seaweed
  • By Form: Leaf, Powdered, and Flakes
  • By Application : Animal Feed, Agriculture, Human Consumption, and Others 
Companies covered:

E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company, Travena Organic Solutions Ltd., Cargill Inc., Roullier Group, Leili Group, Biostadt India Limited, Compo GmbH & Co. KG, Acadian Seaplants Limited, Gelymar SA, BrandT Consolidated, Inc., Seasol International Pty. Ltd., CP Kelco., West Coast Marine Bio-Processing Corp., Chase Organics GB Limited, Indigrow Ltd., Acadian Seaplants, Algaia SA, and The Seaweed Company

Growth Drivers:
  • Utilization in food and beverages
  • Utilization in agriculture and animal feed 
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Cultivation, harvesting, and consumer awareness
  • Supply uncertainties due to climate change impact

Key Developments

  • In March 2024, Sea6 Energy, a seaweed company launched the world's first large-scale mechanized tropical seaweed farm off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia
  • In May 2023, Loliware launched new seaweed resin to replace plastics at International Materials Conference
  • In September 2022, ICAR-CMFRI's seaweed farming enterprise in Chetlath, Lakshadweep, India established six plots of 100 tube nets each, with a seed stock size of 3 tons per plot
  • In February 2021, Cargill Inc., a global food corporation launched a new seaweed powder made from Gracilaria red seaweed which is a traditional ingredient in Europe
  • In November 2021, Acadian SeaPlus launched a new Chondracanthus chamissoi seaweed product to customers across the global market
  • *Definition: The global commercial seaweed market consists of the farming, harvesting, and selling of various varieties of seaweed/sea vegetables on a commercial scale by companies worldwide. Main products include red, brown and green seaweed which are used as a seasoning, food thickening agent, stabilizers, gelling agents, etc. in food processing industry as well as for the extraction of alginates used in various industrial applications like textiles, paper manufacturing, cosmetics, etc.

Market Segmentation

  • Type Insights (Revenue, USD Bn & KT, 2019 - 2031)
    • Brown seaweed
    • Red seaweed
    • Green seaweed
  •  Form Insights (Revenue, USD Bn & KT, 2019 - 2031)
    • Leaf
    • Powdered
    • Flakes
  •  Application Insights (Revenue, USD Bn & KT, 2019 - 2031)
    • Animal Feed
    • Agriculture
    • Human Consumption
    • Others
  • Regional Insights (Revenue, USD Bn & KT, 2019 - 2031)
    • North America
      • U.S.
      • Canada
    • Latin America
      • Brazil
      • Argentina
      • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America
      • Europe
      • Germany
      • U.K.
      • Spain
      • France
      • Italy
      • Russia
      • Rest of Europe
    • Asia Pacific
      • China
      • India
      • Japan
      • Australia
      • South Korea
      • ASEAN
      • Rest of Asia Pacific
    • Middle East & Africa
      • GCC Countries
      • Israel
      • Rest of Middle East & Africa
  • Key Players Insights
    • E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company
    • Travena Organic Solutions Ltd. 
    • Cargill Inc.
    • Roullier Group
    • Leili Group
    • Biostadt India Limited
    • Compo GmbH & Co. KG
    • Acadian Seaplants Limited
    • Gelymar SA
    • BrandT Consolidated, Inc.
    • Seasol International Pty. Ltd.
    • CP Kelco.
    • West Coast Marine Bio-Processing Corp.
    • Chase Organics GB Limited
    • Indigrow Ltd.
    • Acadian Seaplants
    • Algaia SA
    • The Seaweed Company

Frequently Asked Questions

The CAGR of Global Commercial Seaweed Market is projected to be 2.5% from 2024 to 2031.

Utilization in food and beverages and utilization in agriculture and animal feed are the major factors driving the growth of the global commercial seaweed market.

Cultivation, harvesting, and consumer awareness and supply uncertainties due to climate change impact are the major factors hampering the growth of the global commercial seaweed market.

In terms of Type, Green seaweed is estimated to dominate the market revenue share in 2024.

E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company, Travena Organic Solutions Ltd., Cargill Inc., Roullier Group, Leili Group, Biostadt India Limited, Compo GmbH & Co. KG, Acadian Seaplants Limited, Gelymar SA, BrandT Consolidated, Inc., Seasol International Pty. Ltd., CP Kelco., West Coast Marine Bio-Processing Corp., Chase Organics GB Limited, Indigrow Ltd., Acadian Seaplants, Algaia SA, and The Seaweed Company are the major players.

Asia Pacific is expected to lead the global commercial seaweed market.

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