The extensive use of seaweed as a particle suspension and emulsifying agent, thickening, stabilizer, and protein stabilizer in dairy products, salad dressings, ice cream, chocolate milk, and other processed food items will propel the commercial seaweed industry forward.
The seaweed sector offers a diverse range of products with a total annual value of USD 5.5-6 billion. Food for human consumption accounts for around USD5 billion of this total. Hydrocolloids, which are extracted from seaweeds, account for a substantial portion of the remaining billion dollars, with smaller, unrelated uses like fertilizers and animal feed additives accounting for the rest. Every year, the sector consumes 7.5-8 million tons of wet seaweed. Demand for seaweed has outstripped supply from natural resources, prompting a rapid expansion of seaweed farming. Commercial harvesting takes place in around 35 nations across the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, in waters ranging from cold to temperate to tropical.
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There is a strong demand for effective fertilizers to boost production and food security since sustainable agriculture techniques are being hampered by a massive reduction in soil fertility. As a result, during the estimation period, the commercial seaweed market will expand.
According to the current analysis of Reports and Data, the global Commercial Seaweeds market was valued at USD 16.19 Billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 29.39 Billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 7.6%. The market for commercial seaweeds is expanding by leaps and bounds, especially in some regional segments. Their high nutritional value and continuously growing sustainable harvest practices are making them popular in the food and other industries. Partnerships and product portfolio expansion are frequently witnessed in this industry as this enables in attracting huge consumer segments. The market is a hub of research and innovation till date, with a current focus on animal livestock and cosmetic sector products. Since the origin is completely organic, the product is being accepted more by the consumers, and is expected to witness impressive growth in the coming years.
Insufficient financial funding and untapped potential in the marine sector are restricting the market to grow to its full potential. However, increasing sustainability norms are expected to propel growth and push the demand forward.
Key players include
Cargill Inc., E.I. Du Pontde Nemours and Company, Roullier Group, Biostadt India Ltd., Compo GmbH & Co., Dalian Kowa Foods, Acadian Seaplants Pvt. Ltd., CP Kelco, Bunge Ltd., Seaweed & Co.
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For the purpose of this study, Reports and Data have segmented the Commercial Seaweeds market on the basis of type, method of harvesting, form, application, and region:
Type (Revenue, USD Million; 2018–2028)
- Red Seaweeds
- Brown Seaweeds
- Green Seaweeds
Method of Harvesting (Revenue, USD Million; 2018–2028)
- Wild Harvesting
Form (Revenue, USD Million; 2018–2028)
Application (Revenue, USD Million; 2018–2028)
- Dairy Products
- Meat & Poultry Products
- Bakery Products
- Confectionery Products
- Animal Feed Additives
- Cosmetic and Personal Care
- Biomass for fuel
- Integrated Aquaculture
- Wastewater Treatment
Regional Outlook (Revenue in USD Million; 2018–2028)
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Middle East and Africa
- Latin America
Further key findings from the report suggest-
- Red seaweeds have a high mineral and antioxidant content, leading to their increasing use in the pharmaceuticals segment. Initially, their medical application was restricted to traditional medicines only. Today, the product is helping in biochemical research and the hydrocolloid industry.
- Brown seaweeds assist with protection from marine pathogens due to the presence of a compound called fucoidan. They are also known to have skin benefits like the ability to provide skin elasticity. Due to the increase in their usage, they are projected to be the fastest growing application segment.
- Seaweeds are becoming popular as healthy snacks in the food segment and have a growing industrial application especially with the growth of automation for harvesting purposes. These are some factors contributing to their impressive growth during the forecast period.
- The product is known to have many health benefits such as the ability to help in digestion mechanisms, lowering cholesterol and weight loss. This is making them popular both in the pharmaceutical segment and health foods industry. The pharmaceuticals segment under application is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.3% during the period of forecast.
- Seaweeds are being used more for animal fodder. They can either be used directly or mixed as an additive to enhance the nutritional content of food consumed by animals. This is a prominent area of market innovation as companies are engaged in their efforts to make fodder rich in its nutritional content and sustainable in the manner of harvesting.
- The resource base for commercial seaweeds is becoming stronger in the North American region. This region is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. A major reason behind the industrial growth is the migration of people from seaweed-consuming areas to the North American region.
- By the method of harvesting, aquaculture holds the largest share. This segment is growing due to the rising demand for Carrageenan, Agar-Agar, Alginates, and many other varieties of seaweeds. The product is readily being used as a raw material for the hydrocolloid industry.
- Seaweeds undergo significant testing before being used in any application. Wild harvesting is becoming unpopular gradually because it has been found to be contaminated easily by heavy metals and ingredients harmful to living beings.
- In July 2019, Seaweed & Co. has entered into a partnership with Univar Solutions, to expand their presence in the European markets. This is a strategic move by the company to take advantage of the prosperous growth opportunities across Europe and exploit the untapped potential.
- Market players are continuously launching new products and programs to diversify their portfolio and stand out in the market for their specialized services. In February 2019, Cargill launched its Red Seaweed Promise program to establish standards of sustainability for the red seaweed variety. The effort is expected to make the global supply chain for red seaweed more traceable and transparent.
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