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According to a new report published by Allied Market Research, titled “Seaweed Market by Product and Application: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2018 to 2024,” the global seaweed market was valued at $4.1 billion in 2017, and is projected to reach $9.1 billion by 2024, registering a CAGR of 12.0% from 2018 to 2024. In 2017, red seaweed accounted for nearly 90% of the global market, in terms of value.

Seaweed, or macroalgae, is classified into three broad groups based on pigmentation, which include red, brown, and green seaweed. The major utilization of these seaweeds as food and food ingredients is in Asia-Pacific, particularly in China, Indonesia, Philippines, Korea, and Japan where seaweed cultivation has developed into a huge industry. Seaweed farming is becoming an increasingly competitive market for food and related products across the globe.

The growing application of seaweed in various end-use industries is anticipated to drive the market growth. The human food segment accounts for the highest market share, owing to increase in utilization of seaweed for human consumption. Substances that are extracted from seaweeds such as hydrocolloids make up most of the remaining market share, while smaller application such as fertilizers, animal feed additives, aquaculture, biomass for fuel, and wastewater treatment make up the rest.

Seaweeds are being extensively explored as a fuel, due to their high photosynthetic efficiency and their ability to produce lipids, a biodiesel feedstock which is anticipated to open new avenues for the seaweed manufacturers. High untapped market potential in North America and Europe is expected to boost the consumption of seaweed during the forecast period. However, unfavorable climatic conditions and fluctuation in the prices of seaweed hamper the market growth.

Red seaweeds are the largest and most abundant of the seaweeds, and thus hold a dominant position in the global market. Furthermore, they have an economically important role throughout Asia-Pacific, due to the presence of phycocolloids such as carrageenan. The carrageenan produced from seaweed has a variety of applications in food production as a thickener and stabilizer. Thus, higher consumption of red seaweed in the food industry is anticipated to drive the seaweed market growth.

Key findings of the seaweed market report include:

  • In 2017, Asia-Pacific accounted for the highest market share, growing at a CAGR of 11.4% from 2018 to 2024.
  • In 2017, human food application segment accounted for the highest market share, and is expected to growth at a significant CAGR of 11.8%.
  • Red seaweed was the highest contributor in 2017, and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 12.3%.
  • In 2017, China accounted for more than one-fifth of market share, and is anticipated to grow at a significant CAGR of 11.6%.
  • North America is anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR of 13.0% from 2018 to 2024.

In terms of value, Asia-Pacific and LAMEA collectively contributed more than half of the market share in the global seaweed market in 2017.

Some of the major players analyzed in this report are Cargill Inc., DuPont, Groupe Roullier, Irish Seaweeds, Qingdao Gather Great Ocean Algae Industry Group (GGOG), Annie Chuns Inc., Chase Organics, GimMe Health Foods, Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, and Mara Seaweed.

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