A new market research report by ReportLinker on the growth projections of the commercial seaweed market estimates a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.7% through 2025. Not included in this assessment is the contribution anticipated from seaweed dedicated to livestock feed for methane mitigation.
Key highlights of the research
The commercial seaweed market is predominantly driven by the functional and health properties of edible seaweed. Most of the commercially produced seaweed is used in the food industry, which accounts for more than half of the total market share compared to other categories including hydrocolloids, feed, and fertilizers.
Globally, seaweeds are gaining popularity at present not only as part of the staple diet, food flavor enhancers, and nutritive food items but also for their weight loss properties. For this very reason, the consumption of seaweed has increased by 125% over the past five years in the United Kingdom alone.
Simultaneously, the COVID-19 epidemic has directly affected seaweed farmers as demand for raw materials has decreased and prices have fallen. For instance, in Indonesia, the price of mainly exported Cottonii seaweed, used for producing carrageenan has declined by almost 50% since trade with China has been disrupted. However, seaweed’s potential to fight Covid-19 is being recognized in many research studies carried out by many including the World Health Organization (WHO).
Key market trends
Agriculture is a critical sector for the livelihood of individuals and the stability of the overall global economy. Meeting the food needs and its productivity requirements in the future are of tremendous importance because of increasing global human population. These requirements can be achieved through a set of innovations and technologies that support the agriculture sector; one among them is using seaweed extract to boost production. Liquid seaweed extracts are complex and possess novel mechanisms for increasing crop productivity.
Other benefits include improved root structures, improved plant development like flowering and leaf development, fruit set, and the enhanced ability to tolerate plant disease and climatic stresses, such as cold or drought. They also help improve soil structure, soil water holding capacity, and improved soil microbiology.
The use of seaweed as food has strong roots in Asian countries, including China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. The demand for seaweed as food has, in recent years, spread to North America, South America, and Europe. China is by far the largest seaweed producer, followed by the Republic of Korea and Japan. However, seaweeds are now being produced on all continents.
The United States, Mexico, and Canada are poised to witness a high growth rate in the seaweed market. Rapid industrialization, coupled with environment-friendly regulations, is anticipated to benefit the growth of the market for commercial seaweed in these regions.
The global commercial seaweed market is highly fragmented and competitive in nature. Cargill Inc., DuPont, Acadian Seaplants Limited, CP Kelco, Algea, the Arctic Company, Fruit Hill Farm, and Kelpak are the most active companies among all major players in this market. The companies that have taken the lead in strategic movements are Cargill Inc. and CP Kelco. Most of the key players are based in the developed countries of Asia-Pacific, the European region, and North America. And their subsidiaries and branches are established in many countries in South America and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Oceana region.
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