"Market Intelligence that Adds Flavour to Your Success"

Commercial Seaweed Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Type (Red Seaweed, Brown Seaweed, and Green Seaweed), Form (Flakes, Powder, and Liquid), End-uses (Food & Beverages, Agricultural Fertilizers, Animal Feed Additives, Pharmaceuticals, and Cosmetics & Personal Care), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: May 27, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI100077



Play Audio Listen to Audio Version

The global commercial seaweed market size was USD 17.14 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow from USD 18.39 billion in 2024 to USD 34.56 billion by 2032 at a CAGR of 8.20% during the forecast period.

The COVID-19 crisis has led to the slowing down of the year-on-year growth of this market. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 5.85% YOY growth in 2020. This could be mainly attributed to the decrease in the demand for raw materials and reduced prices. The rise in CAGR is attributable to WHO’s highlighting of the importance of seaweed as an effective means of protecting people from the coronavirus.

Over the past few years, the utilization of hydrocolloids such as carrageenan, alginate, and agar has increased in the food industry, animal feed, pharmaceuticals, and other industries. This has led to the escalation in algae production and soaring demand for commercial seaweed. In addition to this, health benefits associated with the consumption of macro algae products are motivating people to include commercial algae in their daily food.

Seaweed farmers experienced a negative impact amidst the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the reduced demand for agricultural productivity of macro algae as a raw material. The reduced price of raw materials due to the decline in demand affected the commercial seaweed market growth. However, an increasing number of studies explaining that certain compounds of macro algae might be helpful in reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus has increased the interest in macro algae globally. The growing demand for healthy and safe foods to maintain overall health and wellness is expected to propel the growth of the market in the forthcoming years.

Commercial Seaweed Market Trends

Growing Focus on Environmental Sustainability to Favor Seaweed Cultivation

Over the past few years, people around the world have become aware of the environmental issues that are leading to the development of solutions to reduce environmental stress. The growing awareness regarding environmental welfare has caused significant changes in consumer preferences that are propelling the demand for sustainable products. Macro algae cultivation is considered sustainable as it is a fast-growing, nutrient-rich alga that absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen. The growing demand for macro algae production is further attributed to the rising popularity of veganism and plant-based products that support animal welfare. According to the press release of Proveg International Organization, the global plant-based meat stood at USD 12.1 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15% during the period from 2019 to 2025.

Request a Free sample to learn more about this report.

Commercial Seaweed Market Growth Factors

Increasing Adoption of Commercial Seaweed as Hydrocolloids to Propel Market Growth

The demand for seaweed from the food industry across the globe is rising due to its product efficiency in adding nutritional value to food products. For instance, earlier, it was mostly consumed in Asia countries; however, due to the spread of the Asian population in countries such as the U.S., France, and Canada, macro algae are used as a food ingredient or added freshly. Additionally, several seaweed-produced hydrocolloids are used to increase the thickness and stability of food products. It is further utilized to form gels and water-soluble films. Alginate, agar, and carrageenan are the most common macro alage extracts. They are used as gelling, stabilizing, emulsifying, and thickening agents in various food products, such as ice-creams, jams, fruit juices, bakery products, and others.

Seaweeds being a rich source of biochemicals, such as amino acids, proteins, lipids, vitamins, polysaccharides, peptides, and minerals, aid in increasing the functionality of food products. This is expected to drive the market growth in the forthcoming years.

Increasing Consumption of Plant-based Products to Surge Demand

The growing awareness about animal welfare has accelerated the tread of turning vegan or following a vegetarian diet, which has further increased consumption of plant-based products. These products are gaining popularity across several sectors such as the food and cosmetics industry with the evolving perception that plant-based products are safer & healthier compared to animal-originated products. Macro algae being a good source of protein, is now extensively utilized to develop plant-based protein alternatives, which is fueling the growth of this market. For instance, in June 2020, a French-based bio marine ingredient company invested USD 2.4 million to develop a new range of seaweed-based solutions in order to create plant-based substitutes.


High Cost of Seaweed Cultivation to Impede Market Growth

In recent years, water pollution has increased significantly due to the mixing of toxic waste chemicals and plastics from industrial effluents. This poses many challenges in harvesting from ocean beds, thereby increasing the final cost of algae in the market. The high cost of cultivation is expected to impede the market growth. In January 2018, for instance, Alltech closed its algae production facility in Kentucky considering the operational efficiency of the business unit. However, increasing government interventions to support the cultivation and harvesting of macro algae to cater to the growing demand for macro algae in the food industry is expected to help farmers and manufacturers to overcome this challenge.

Commercial Seaweed Market Segmentation Analysis

By Type Analysis

Red Seaweed Segment Holds the Major Market Share Attributed to Wide Application & Easy Availability

Based on type, the market includes red, brown, & green. The red algae segment dominates the market owing to its tremendous functional properties. It contains a high amount of proteins and vitamins that make it a great source of alternative proteins. Red algae is primarily used for the production of carrageenan, which itself is used as a food source along with extensive application in food processing.

Green algae contains a high amount of beta-carotene, which has been shown to be effective in preventing cancer. The growing demand for dietary supplements in the form of tablets and capsules of green algae is projected to increase its demand over the forecast period.

To know how our report can help streamline your business, Speak to Analyst

Brown algae is expected to showcase a promising growth on account of its growing consumption in Asian countries. In countries such as China and Japan, it is consumed with coconut milk, crushed ice, and jelly.

By Form Analysis

Seaweed Powders to Hold Major Share Backed by Easy Storage & Simple Utilization

Seaweed powders are widely utilized in both the food and cosmetics industries. Powders are easy to transport and store. The process of converting macro algae extracts to powder removes water and helps to increase its shelf life. Seaweed powder is sold in retail markets as a cosmetic product as well as a dietary supplement. The increasing consumption of plant proteins and vegan products is expected to spike the demand for seaweed powders in the food industry.

Liquid macro algae extracts are witnessing substantial growth owing to their increasing utilization in functional beverages & cosmetics.

By End-uses Analysis

Food & Beverage Segment to Lead Supported by Growing Food Applications

The emerging applications of seaweed in food products primarily drive segmental growth. Food & beverage industry stakeholders have recognized the biomass originating from algae as an alternative protein source to fulfill the global protein demand. The growing consumption of vegan products is also expected to further contribute to the growth of the market.

The cosmetics and personal care segment is expected to experience strong growth due to the recently growing demand for antioxidant-rich cosmetic products such as body lotions, moisturizing soaps, shampoos, and creams. In March 2019, for example, French beauty and cosmetic brand Algotherm made its regional presence in India by launching a wide range of beauty products made from Algohydra. The company launched several creams, face masks, gels, and face serums.


Asia Pacific Commercial Seaweed Market Size, 2023 (USD Billion)

To get more information on the regional analysis of this market, Request a Free sample

Asia Pacific holds the major commercial seaweed market share with a value of USD 10.73 billion in 2020. The increasing adoption of commercial type of algae in traditional cuisines of various countries such as China, Japan, and Vietnam has elevated its global demand over the past few years. The growing demand for macro algae from the foodservice sector also propels market growth in the region. The rising popularity of plant-based cosmetics and personal care products among consumers are further expected to fuel market growth in the forthcoming years.

Seaweed farming is expanding rapidly globally. The main algae production region is Asia, although other regions have begun to grow more and more selective algae species to meet the growing worldwide demand for a variety of products intended for human consumption, such as foods, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals. Other seaweed applications include agricultural fertilizers, animal feed, and biofuels.

To know how our report can help streamline your business, Speak to Analyst

North America is expected to experience considerable growth due to the surging demand for plant-based products in the region. U.S. seaweed market dominated the North American region. The rising popularity of vegan and vegetarian diets in the region has increased the demand for plant proteins across a range of food products. The increasing popularity of functional food and beverages has further elevated the utilization of algae in various products. Ongoing developments and technological advancements in the cultivation and harvesting of algae are expected to drive the growth of the market in the region.

The European market is expected to exhibit steady growth as compared to other regions. Edible seaweeds such as chlorella and spirulina help capitalize on the new trends of plant-based protein consumption in Europe. The demand for high-quality and natural supplements in the region is creating an opportunity for various seaweed pharmaceutical industry suppliers hailing from the developing countries of APAC. The increasing consumer shift towards vegan diets further aids in the consumption of seaweed in these regions. In Europe, the imports of edible algae decreased by 66% from 2014-2018 due to the lack of supply. This is expected to contribute to the market growth during the forecast period. Western Europe is increasingly interested in the cultivation of algae as a food source, biostimulant for soils and crops, and biofuels. Algae cultivation does not require agricultural land, and many species grow in salty and brackish water areas, which has undeniable advantages. Algae farming in Dutch waters is limited currently, but in the coming decades, more farms will be developed in the North Sea, offering the possibility of combining them with large-scale algae farming.

South American market for commercial seaweed is projected to witness stable growth owing to its vast geographical area including various oceanic domains. The primary seaweed production in South America is based on the harvesting of natural beds. The market in the region holds remarkable opportunities with the improvement of farming methodologies, the development of new strains, and the expansion of farming activities.

The market in the Middle East & Africa is still at the nascent stage. Green algae is one of the important aquaculture products in South Africa. The market is expected to experience steady growth attributed to the rising demand for green algae in dietary supplements and cosmetics.

List of Key Companies in Commercial Seaweed Market

Cargill, Inc. to Invest in Innovation & Expansion of Products to Strengthen Market Presence

The leading player Cargill is focusing on investing in innovation & expansion to ensure long-term sustainable red algae supply chain solutions. For instance, in February 2019, the company launched a new sustainability program, Red algae Promise, that addresses sustainability challenges for the cultivation and harvesting of red algae. The presence of a few major players and their extended production and distribution capabilities has resulted in a highly consolidated global market for commercial seaweed. Other key players such as DowDuPont, Inc., J.M. Huber, and Corbion N.V. are focusing on facility expansions, innovation of novel processing techniques, and partnerships to strengthen their positions in the market.


  • DowDuPont, Inc. (Delaware, U.S.)

  • Cargill, Inc. (Minnesota, U.S.)

  • J.M. Huber (New Jersey, U.S.)

  • Corbion N.V. (Netherlands)

  • Kerry Group Plc (Tralee, Ireland)

  • FMC Corporation (Pennsylvania, U.S.)

  • Acadian Seaplants Limited (Nova Scotia, Canada)

  • Gelymer S.A. (Santiago, Chile)

  • Ocean Harvest Technology limited (Milltown, Ireland)

  • Roullier Group (Brittany, France)


  • November 2019: Nippon Steel Corporation in partnership with Furuu District Fisheries Cooperative Association launched a new seaweed regeneration project to promote the fisheries industry in Japan.

  • July 2019: Univar Solutions, a global chemical and ingredients distributor, announced an agreement with Scotland-based Seaweed & Co. to expand its portfolio with novel seaweed ingredients that fulfill modern consumer demands related to health, taste, and sustainability.


An Infographic Representation of Commercial Seaweed Market

To get information on various segments, share your queries with us

The global commercial seaweeds market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading application areas of the product. Besides this, the report offers insights into market trends and highlights key microalgae industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.

To gain extensive insights into the market, Request for Customization

Report Scope & Segmentation:



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


Growth Rate

CAGR of 8.20% from 2024 to 2032


Value (USD Billion)


By Type

  • Red Seaweed

  • Brown Seaweed

  • Green Seaweed

  • Other

By Form

  • Powder

  • Flakes

  • Liquid

By End-Uses

  • Food and Beverage

  • Agriculture

  • Animal Feed Additives

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Cosmetics and Personal Care

By Geography

  • North America (By Type, End-Use, Form, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Type)

    • Canada (By Type)

    • Mexico (By Type)

  • Europe (By Type, End-Use, Form, and Country)

    • U.K. (By Type)

    • Germany (By Type)

    • France (By Type)

    • Italy (By Type)

    • Spain (By Type)

    • Belgium (By Type)

    • Russia (By Type)

    • Rest of Europe (By Type)

  • Asia Pacific (By Type, End-Use, Form, and Country)

    • China (By Type)

    • India (By Type)

    • Japan (By Type)

    • Australia (By Type)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Type)

  • South America (By Type, End-Use, Form, and Country)

    • Brazil (By Type)

    • Argentina (By Type)

    • Rest of South America (By Type)

  • The Middle East and Africa (By Type, End-Use, Form, and Country)

    • South Africa (By Type)

    • UAE (By Type)

    • Rest of the Middle East & Africa (By Type)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 17.14 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 34.56 billion by 2032.

Growing at a CAGR of 8.20%, the market will exhibit steady growth over the forecast period (2024-2032).

The red seaweed type segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

The rising utilization of seaweeds in various cosmetics and personal care products drives the demand for seaweed extracts.

Cargill Inc., Kerry Group, and DowDupont are the major players in the market.

Asia Pacific dominated the market share in 2023.

Consumer inclination towards plant-based food products is expected to drive the market’s growth.

Seeking Comprehensive Intelligence on Different Markets?
Get in Touch with Our Experts

Speak to an Expert
  • 2019-2032
  • 2023
  • 2019-2022
  • 160

Personalize this Research

  • Granular Research on Specified Regions or Segments
  • Companies Profiled based on User Requirement
  • Broader Insights Pertaining to a Specific Segment or Region
  • Breaking Down Competitive Landscape as per Your Requirement
  • Other Specific Requirement on Customization
Request Customization Banner

Client Testimonials

“We are quite happy with the methodology you outlined. We really appreciate the time your team has spent on this project, and the efforts of your team to answer our questions.”

- One of the largest & renowned medical research centers based in the U.S. on a report on the U.S. NIPT Market.

“Thanks a million. The report looks great!”

- Feedback from a consultant on a report on the U.S. Beef Market.

“Thanks for the excellent report and the insights regarding the lactose market.”

- Brazil based company specializing in production of protein ingredients.

“I liked the report; would it be possible to send me the PPT version as I want to use a few slides in an internal presentation that I am preparing.”

- Global Digital Services Agency on a report on the Global Luxury Goods Market.

“This report is really well done and we really appreciate it! Again, I may have questions as we dig in deeper. Thanks again for some really good work.”

- U.S.-based biotechnology company focussing on treatment of chronic pain.

“Kudos to your team. Thank you very much for your support and agility to answer our questions.”

- Europe-based provider of solutions to automate data centre operations.

“We appreciate you and your team taking out time to share the report and data file with us, and we are grateful for the flexibility provided to modify the document as per request. This does help us in our business decision making. We would be pleased to work with you again, and hope to continue our business relationship long into the future.”

- India-based manufacturer of industrial and specialty intermediates with a strong global presence.

“I want to first congratulate you on the great work done on the Medical Platforms project. Thank you so much for all your efforts.”

- One of the largest cosmetics company in the world.

“Thank you very much. I really appreciate the work your team has done. I feel very comfortable recommending your services to some of the other startups that I’m working with, and will likely establish a good long partnership with you.”

- U.S. based startup operating in the cultivated meat market.

“We received the below report on the U.S. market from you. We were very satisfied with the report.”

- Global hearing aids manufacturer.

“I just finished my first pass-through of the report. Great work! Thank you!”

- U.S. based solar racking solutions provider.

“Thanks again for the great work on our last partnership. We are ramping up a new project to understand the imaging and imaging service and distribution market in the U.S.”

- World’s leading advisory firm.

“We feel positive about the results. Based on the presented results, we will do strategic review of this new information and might commission a detailed study on some of the modules included in the report after end of the year. Overall we are very satisfied and please pass on the praise to the team. Thank you for the co-operation!”

- Germany based machine construction company.

“Thank you very much for the very good report. I have another requirement on cutting tools, paper crafts and decorative items.”

- Japanese manufacturing company of stationery products.

“We are happy with the professionalism of your in-house research team as well as the quality of your research reports. Looking forward to work together on similar projects”

- One of the Leading Food Companies in Germany

“We appreciate the teamwork and efficiency for such an exhaustive and comprehensive report. The data offered to us was exactly what we were looking for. Thank you!”

- Intuitive Surgical

“I recommend Fortune Business Insights for their honesty and flexibility. Not only that they were very responsive and dealt with all my questions very quickly but they also responded honestly and flexibly to the detailed requests from us in preparing the research report. We value them as a research company worthy of building long-term relationships.”

- Major Food Company in Japan

“Well done Fortune Business Insights! The report covered all the points and was very detailed. Looking forward to work together in the future”

- Ziering Medical

“It has been a delightful experience working with you guys. Thank you Fortune Business Insights for your efforts and prompt response”

- Major Manufacturer of Precision Machine Parts in India

“I had a great experience working with Fortune Business Insights. The report was very accurate and as per my requirements. Very satisfied with the overall report as it has helped me to build strategies for my business”

- Hewlett-Packard

“This is regarding the recent report I bought from Fortune Business insights. Remarkable job and great efforts by your research team. I would also like to thank the back end team for offering a continuous support and stitching together a report that is so comprehensive and exhaustive”

- Global Management Consulting Firm

“Please pass on our sincere thanks to the whole team at Fortune Business Insights. This is a very good piece of work and will be very helpful to us going forward. We know where we will be getting business intelligence from in the future.”

- UK-based Start-up in the Medical Devices Sector

“Thank you for sending the market report and data. It looks quite comprehensive and the data is exactly what I was looking for. I appreciate the timeliness and responsiveness of you and your team.”

- One of the Largest Companies in the Defence Industry
We use cookies to enhance your experience. By continuing to visit this site you agree to our use of cookies . Privacy.