The global commercial seaweed market size is expected to reach a revenue of more than USD 95 billion by 2027.
In fact, in recent years, farmed seaweed is increasingly utilized in cosmetics along with animal feed additives and fertilizers, subsequently adding impetus to the commercial seaweed market expansion. These farms absorb nutrients and carbon dioxide and help improve the water quality whilst buffering the effects of ocean acidification in surrounding areas. Driven by its rising footprint, seaweed is commercially harvested across a large part of the world in waters spanning from cold and tropical temperatures. These algae are also vividly used in the extraction of industrial gums and chemicals.
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Mainly impelled by multifarious application scope across a gamut of industries, the commercial seaweed market is set to witness notable expansion in the looming years. Besides its primary consumption as a vegetable on account of its high-profile health benefits, seaweed records significant usage in the encapsulation of medicines, and the cleaning of beer and wine. It also has paramount importance as an emulsifying and binding agent in the food industry.
Increasing consumption of brown seaweed
Brown seaweed is anticipated to foresee collective inclination on account of their growing significance in managing various conditions, like cancer, arthritis, stress, fibromyalgia, weight loss, heart disease, and high cholesterol, among many others. This type of algae is edible and comprises several chemicals that work as antioxidants. They are usually large and range from 20m to 2-4m in length with leather-like thickness, while its smaller species span from 30-60 cm.
Increasing penetration in the food industry and as a raw material in the extraction of hydrocolloid and alginate will drive the commercial seaweed market development.
Growing demand for wet seaweed
Preference for wet seaweed is expected to surge in the near future due to increasing demand for the production of hydrocolloids, agar alginate, and carrageenan, which are later used as thickening and gelling agents. To cater to these requirements, the FOA (Food and Agriculture Organization) has reported that over 1 million tons of wet seaweed are harvested worldwide. To add further, wet harvested seaweed is increasingly adopted in cattle farming as feed. The fast-growing sales of edible seaweeds in China will also aid the product demand in the long run.
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Asia Pacific as a major consumer
Thriving production of seaweed in leading APAC countries, given the abundant presence off the coast of Korea, Japan, and China will significantly anchor the commercial seaweed market development. According to the FOA, the Republic of Korea grows more than 800 000 wet tons of three different species of seaweed. The rising application scope in industrial and fertilizer space has led to the prioritization of farmed seaweed production and wild seaweed harvesting in these countries, further making way for various seaweed breeding programs in eastern Asian countries.
To summarize, the commercial seaweed industry will attain considerable momentum with increasing utilization in the industrial spectrum, including cattle feed, biofuels, textile, pharma & personal care among various others. They also have the potential of being used as a source of long- as well as short-chain chemicals with medicinal uses. The rising development of novel seaweed cultivation techniques will further impact the commercial seaweed market progression.
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