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Government Grants will aid growth of seaweed market. The global market for seaweed accounted for ~US$ 10.5 Bn in 2018 and is expected to cross ~US$ 15 Bn by the end of forecast period (2019-2029), according to an article on the Fact.MR website

Seaweed cultivation has been expanding rapidly for its use in pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, antimicrobial products, and biotechnological applications. The recent statistics suggest an increase in red seaweed production worldwide because of the increased demand in multiple verticals. The red seaweed, Kappaphycus alvarezii is the major source of carrageenan, a hydrocolloid used as a stiffening and stabilizing agent in food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and others. Countries like New Zealand and Alaska are expected to show remarkable growth in seaweed commercialization as their local grants are expanding seaweed production.

APAC to Emerge as Largest Regional Market by 2029

Seaweed though popular in Coastal regions is soaring on popularity in developing economies such as Indonesia, China and India. The Japanese commercial seaweed market is a potential market owing to the popularity of Kelp, a species of large seaweed, eaten in East and Southeast Asia. It is known as Kombu in Japan and Haidai in China, where it can be found in various soups as a staple food item. On the backdrop of these developments the market in Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow 2.6X by 2029 over 2019.

Increasing Usage across Different Verticals to Amplify Seaweed Demand

Seaweed is a multibillion-dollar industry worldwide, providing food, fertilizers, nutritional supplementation, and valuable phycocolloids like agar, carrageenan, and alginate. Diversified end use applications are likely to bring opportunities in the global seaweed market. Seaweed is a nutritious plant enriched with proteins and minerals akin to vegetables such as broccoli and legumes. In countries like China it is consumed due to high presence of multivitamins. Red seaweed is highly prized for its carrageenan, which is used in food and beverages such as desserts, beer and even toothpaste.

Red Seaweed to Account for 50% Market Share with Surge in Consumption in Food and Beverage Sector

Red seaweeds accounts for more than 50% of the commercial seaweed market share and is expected to grow at a higher rate owing to substantial demand from food and beverage sector. Commercial seaweed market has grown at a significant pace in the last decade because of increasing popularity of organic farming, where it is especially effective in growing vegetables and fruits.

Seaweed Market Players Increasing Investments for Sustainable Harvesting

Commercial seaweed is a large market where government grants are opening doors for niche players to enter and grab market share. The key players which hold a significant share in commercial seaweed market are, Du Pont de Nemours & Co., Cargill Inc., Yan Cheng Hairui Food , CP Kelco and others who are also investing in R&D to increase product portfolio in the coming years.

  • In Feb 2019, Cargill launched a program that is specifically designed to overcome key sustainability challenges for harvesting and cultivation of red seaweed and also to enhance supply chain.
  • In the year 2019, Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) issued a generous grant to local companies to expand ocean farming by 2000 acres for seaweed farming.