Most people can’t tell seaweed different from algae that grows in the ocean. However, seaweed variety, carrageenan is used in diverse applications including food processing, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical. The demand for seaweed continues to rise, as production for seaweed is almost entirely done through agricultural cultivation, which makes it a reliable source of raw material for end-applications. Thanks to rising demand for seaweed in creation of phycocolloids, fertilizers, fodder, human food, and biochemical will drive a notable CAGR of 4% during 2018-2028. Additionally, new drug testing also promises to open up new opportunities for players in the seaweed extract market.
Among all the applications of seaweed extracts, the application for food additives remains most promising. Carrageenan is both a gelling, and thickening agents in food processing. The demand for this continues to increase as low-costs of seaweed extracts and their effective application continues to drive demand for hydrocolloids. The demand for biochemical is a new and promising horizon for new entrants in the market.
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Asia Pacific Promises to Dominate Growth
Among regions, Asia Pacific promises a robust growth during 2018-2028, driven largely by rising demand from China. Countries like China, South Korea, and Japan exhibit a traditional demand for seaweed extracts, widely embedded in various cuisines. Moreover, varieties of red, and brown seaweeds are becoming popular for industrial use in the region. Currently, a high proportion of raw seaweeds are used for production of hydrocolloids in the region. Globally, 1 million tonnes of wet seaweeds are harvested to produce hydrocolloids. The production accounts for 55,000 tonnes, with a valuation of $585 million. Despite growing demand for products in Asia Pacific region, the
Growing Demand for Red Seaweeds as Food Products
As mentioned earlier, seaweeds have always been attractive in some Asian countries as a food source. Among the food products, porphyria remains the largest species in demand for seaweeds. The species of seaweed, also known as laver, and nori is dried and processed into sheets which are thin and black-purplish in colour. The popular Japanese dish, Sushi uses the porphyria variety among several others. The seaweed is wrapped on the outside of the small handful of soured, boiled rice topped with a piece of raw fish. Today, growing supply for the variety from China, Japan, and Korea remains a major supply dynamic in the market.
The combined production of the seaweed from three countries amounts to nearly 100,000 tonnes. Moreover, the porphyria variety remains most promising among different varieties for seaweed. For example, the laminaria variety is priced at US$610 per wet tonne, while the Undaria variety popular in China costs about US$ 530 per wet tonne. On the other hand, the porphyria variety is priced at around US$ 1200 per wet tonne. Varieties of laminaria are increasing in their application as new condiments powders are making their way into food products. These known as Dulse are making new headways in some European countries.
The global seaweed extract market is segmented on the basis of:
- Red Seaweed
- Brown Seaweed
- Green Seaweed
- Food and Beverages
- Agricultural Products
- Animal Feed Additives
- Cosmetics and Personal Care
- North America
- Latin America
- East Asia
- South Asia
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