Agar is a gelatin-like substance that is produced from the red-algae and is best known for the solidifying substrate of bacteriological culture media. It is also used for preserving meat and poultry products. Moreover, it also find its applications in cosmetics, medicine, and dentistry. Furthermore, they are also used as a clarifying agent in the production and brewing of wine and as a thickening agent in the production of pastries, ice-creams, salad dressings, and desserts.
The global agar market was valued at US$ 241.6 Mn in 2018 and is anticipated to reach US$ 379.1 Mn by the end of 2027, growing at a CAGR of 4.9% during the forecast period (2019 to 2027).
Rising awareness regarding the health benefits of agar as it has various minerals and vitamins such as contains iron, iodine, calcium, phosphorous, etc. is expected to serve as a prime driver factor to the market growth. Moreover, growing demand from the food and beverage industry as a thickening and stabilizing agent in various food products is expected to propel the market growth of agar.
The market growth can also be attributed to the rising demand for meat and poultry products where it is used as a preservative. Moreover, rising usage of agar as a substitute for gelatin due to its excellent diffusion property and clarity and less adhesiveness is further expected to foster the market growth of agar.
Figure 1. Global Agar Market Share, By Region, 2018
Europe dominated the global agar market in 2018, accounting for 42.0% share in terms of revenue, followed by Asia Pacific and North America, respectively.
The limited source of agar, as agar is derived from seaweed which is limited is a major factor expected to hinder the market growth of agar. Moreover, production and supply of agar are also limited across a certain region, which is also expected to curb the market growth of agar.
With the shortage of raw materials, various companies have stopped selling their agar products. For instance, in 2015, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has stopped selling of bacteriological agar and technical agar until the next year, in order to maintain a supply of dehydrated culture media to customers. Therefore, this factor is also projected to hinder the market growth of agar.
Increasing application of agar in culture media and dentistry as a hydrocolloid impression material coupled with the growing demand from the pharmaceutical industry as it is used to produce suspensions, emulsions, capsules and suppositories in surgical lubricants is expected to offer enormous growth opportunity to the market of agar.
Agar is also used in the cosmetic industry where it is used as a key ingredient in the production of moisturizers and other skincare products. Therefore, rising usage of agar as a key ingredient in the production of cosmetic products such as soaps, lotions, lipsticks, ointments, creams, and others is also expected to propel the market growth of agar over the forecast timeframe.
Figure 2. Global Agar Market - Opportunity Analysis
Market Trends/Key Takeaways
The rising trend of preferences for vegan food products coupled with the booming food and beverage industry is projected to propel the market growth of agar over the forecast period. Moreover, the growing demand for confectionery food products is also expected to foster the market growth of agar in the near future.
Rising adoption of a healthy lifestyle among consumers is another major expected to offer numerous growth opportunities to the market as agar is ideal for the consumer who wants to reduce weight and maintaining good health. Moreover, it is low in saturated fat and cholesterol level, which is also expected to boost market growth over the forecast timeframe.
Figure 3. Global Agar Market Share, By Application, 2018
Major players active in the market are New Zealand Manuka Group, Hispanagar, Acroyali Holdings Qingdao Co., Ltd., Industrias Roko, S.A., Neogen, Merck Group, Agarindo Bogatama, Setexam, and Norevo GmbH.
Few Recent Developments
- The company is engaged in offering customized products and is also involved in continuous research and development activities for developing products in accordance with client requirements
- Presently, Agarmex is mainly operating in regions such as North America, Latin America, and Europe. However, the company is focusing on expanding consumer base in other regions. As a result, Agarmex enters into strategic agreements with international distributors for the proper distribution of its products.
- New Zealand Manuka Group
- Company is majorly focused on research & development work, which helps to leverage emerging opportunities
- One of the key examples of its recent development is use of agar in some other types of products include oil, which it offers under brandname MBTK Oil (Manuka oil Beta TriKetones)
- The company’s primary target is the bacteriological segment, and in order to cater to rising demands from this end-use segment, the company offers products such as low, medium, and high quality of bacteriological agar gels.