Commercial seaweed market volume is rising with increasing demand from the food sector and soaring consumption of hydrocolloids. Strong demand from feed, agriculture and other applications will complement technological advancements and growing use of plant-based products. A rise in the vegan population in the U.S. and U.K. will also augur well for the global industry outlook. —
Environmentally friendly regulations and robust industrialization will spur the trend for commercial seaweed. Scientists claim seaweed could help reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. Robust seaweed cultivation will potentially focus on organic food products, driving the nutritional value of commercial seaweed. Global Market Insights, Inc., forecasts commercial seaweed market size to surpass USD 95 billion by 2027.
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Green seaweed to receive impetus
Green seaweeds are gradually gaining traction in dietary supplements in the form of capsules and tablets. Green algae have become trendier as a pivotal food source for humans and herbivorous marine life. The green commercial seaweed segment is likely to expand at a healthy CAGR of 8.5% through 2027, partly attributed to demand from medicine, animal and human food. Lately, beta carotene has become a trendsetter as a food coloring and may be effective in preventing cancer.
Demand from biofuels to propel sustainability quotient
Biofuels have become a viable solution to bolster sustainability portfolio as they turn into bio-crude to further get refined into biofuel. Several processing techniques are being used for the extraction of biofuels. Notably, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology introduced fast hydrothermal liquefaction for the extraction of bio-oil from seaweeds.
Pharma & personal care sectors to reap rewards
Farmed seaweed extracts are used in a slew of products, including medicine and cosmetics that often contain hydrocolloids. Seaweed has gained traction in personal care products owing to its high nutritional value. To illustrate, L’Oreal uses a seaweed extract carrageenan in their hair styling cream to provide an enhanced texture. Several manufacturers are cashing in on seaweed’s thickening and dispersing agent in creams, soaps, toothpaste, jellies and lotions.
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Wet seaweed to register notable use
Exponential demand for wet seaweed in South Korea, China, Japan and Chile has fared well for commercial seaweed vendors. Not only has wet seaweed found application in products, including seasoned snacks, salads and curd soups, but also industrial applications. The wet commercial seaweed segment is likely to garner around 20% share by 2027. The wet form of commercial seaweed has set the trend as a soil conditioner and foliar fertilizer for plants, providing vitamins, minerals, potassium and enzymes.
North America to provide lucrative growth opportunities
The U.S. is likely to remain a vital outlet for seaweed across the food application, attributed to the trend for vegetarian diets. The demand for plant protein has skyrocketed with the ever-increasing popularity of functional food and beverages. Technological advancements in the harvesting and cultivation of algae will help stakeholders expand penetration in untapped areas. North America commercial seaweed market captured more than 10% revenue share in 2020 and is poised to witness an upward trajectory through 2027.
The competitiveness of the global commercial seaweed market is intensified with players such as Seaweed Energy Solutions, Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd., W Hydrocolloids Inc., and Marcel Carrageenan, among several others. They will emphasize value chain analysis and focus on organic and inorganic strategies—collaboration, mergers & acquisitions, product portfolio expansion, sales network diversification and geographical expansion.
Commercial seaweed has turned out to be a massive trend with companies bolstering their value chain. The flourishing vegan population and demand for functional food & beverage will act as a major growth enabler.
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