According to MarketsandMarkets, the seaweed cultivation market size is estimated to be valued at USD 16.7 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 30.2 billion by 2025, recording a CAGR of 12.6% during the forecast period, in terms of value. Factors such as the rise in seaweed farming practices propelled by global demand, increasing industrial, agricultural, and feed-related applications, and rising market for seaweed as snack products are projected to drive the growth of the seaweed cultivation industry during the forecast period. Asia Pacific segment is going to dominate the market, due to its ease of raw material availability, favorable climatic conditions, and low labor cost for seaweed cultivation, whereas the European region is growing fastest owing to growth in consumer awareness regarding the health benefits of seaweed based products.
Drivers: Rise in seaweed farming practices propelled by global demand
To uplift the socio-economic status of small-scale fishermen, raise the living standard of the coastal community, and to promote the sustainable usage of coastal and marine resources, seaweed farming has become an alternative livelihood option in tropical developing countries. Furthermore, seaweeds grow at a higher rate and do not require fresh water or land space. They also do not require industrial fertilizers and pesticides that pose a threat to the environment. As a result, economical harvesting practices, together with the ease in handling cultivated seaweeds, have further encouraged seaweed farming across key seaweed-producing countries.
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Restraints: Natural calamities hindering the production of seaweeds
The biggest challenge for seaweed manufacturers is the occurrence of natural calamities, which affects the production of seaweeds in the coastal areas of seaweed-producing countries in the Asia Pacific and South American regions. Natural calamities, such as typhoons, floods, droughts, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and pests & diseases, affect the productivity of seaweed farming. The occurrence of such calamities is uncontrollable and poses a significant challenge to seaweed farmers. In response to such instances, seaweed farmers have shifted to building artificial ponds in off-marine areas (mariculture), requiring seawater. However, the adoption of such alternatives in cultivation techniques is associated with high costs that pose a financial challenge to the farmers, thereby affecting the scale of seaweed production.
By form, flakes is the second-fastest growing segment in the market during the forecast period
Seaweeds such as kombu, dulse, kelp, hijiki, nori, and wakame are processed to make flakes. Seaweed flakes have applications mainly in food, as they are increasingly used as salt substitutes. These are mostly used as seasoning agents. In countries such as China and Japan, seaweed flakes are used in food preparations and are eaten raw. Seaweeds provide the human body with magnesium, zinc, vitamin B12, biotin, and iron. They also have medicinal properties to cure diseases such as lung cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
By application, dairy sub-segment in the food segment is projected to account for the largest share in the seaweed cultivation market during the forecast periodThe seaweeds used in the dairy products under the food segment dominates the application segment throughout the forecasted period. Seaweed extracts such as agar, carrageenan, and alginate have wide applications in the dairy industry. These extracts are used as a thickening and gelling agent in products such as cheese, creams, desserts, ice creams, dairy powder, and dairy drinks. Alginates are also used as stabilizers to improve the viscosity of milk drinks, such as chocolate milk drinks.
Asia Pacific is projected to dominate the regional seaweed cultivation market through 2025
Due to the increasing presence of tropical rainforests in the Asia Pacific, various species of seaweeds are found in this region. With a wide variety of seaweed species in this region and increasing production of the seaweed-based products, Asia Pacific remains the largest supplier of seaweeds to both domestic and export markets. In addition, the bulk of seaweeds in this region is obtained from culturing (harvested through aquaculture). The key seaweed types that are in demand in this region include nori, kombu, and wakame. They are increasingly used in food preparations in the Chinese and Japanese diets. As seaweeds are nutrition-dense and are increasingly used as an ingredient in processed food, consumers prefer spending on processed food for healthy diets. The demand for clean labels and organic products is on the rise, which is also leading to the increasing use of seaweeds as organic fertilizers in the agriculture industry. The other industrial applications of seaweeds in the region include pharmaceuticals, agriculture, cosmetics, biofuel, and feed additives. These factors are projected to fuel the growth of the seaweed cultivation market in the Asia Pacific. Of the various countries in the Asia Pacific, China and Indonesia are projected to account for a major share of the market.
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This report includes a study on the marketing and development strategies, along with the product portfolios of leading companies. It consists of profiles of leading companies, such as Cargill, Incorporated (US), DuPont (US), Groupe Roullier (France), CP Kelco U.S., Inc. (US), Acadian Seaplants (US), Qingdao Gather Great Ocean Algae Industry Group (China), Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co. Ltd. (China), Qingdao Bright Moon Seaweed Group Co. (China), Seaweed Energy Solutions AS (Norway), The Seaweed Company (Netherlands), Algea (Norway), Seasol (Australia), Gelymar (Chile), Algaia (France), CEAMSA (Spain), COMPO EXPERT (Germany), Leili (China), Irish Seaweeds (Ireland) and AtSeaNova (Belgium).
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