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Commercial Seaweed Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (Red Seaweed, Brown Seaweed, & Green Seaweed), Form (Flakes, Powder, & Liquid), End-uses (Food & Beverages, Agricultural Fertilizers, Animal Feed Additives, Pharmaceuticals, and Cosmetics & Personal Care), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI100077



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The global commercial seaweed market size was USD 13.33 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 23.04 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period.

The market is growing at a rapid pace due to the increasing demand for seaweeds by the food & cosmetics industry. Over the past few years, the utilization of hydrocolloids such as carrageenan, alginate, and agars has increased in the food industry, animal feed, pharmaceuticals and other industries. This has led to the escalation in seaweed production and demand for commercial seaweed. In addition to this, health benefits associated with the consumption of seaweed products are motivating people to include commercial seaweed in their daily food.

Reduced Demand from End-use Applications amid COVID-19 to Restrict Growth

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


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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. Seaweed cultivation is considered sustainable as it is fast-growing, nutrient-rich algae that absorb carbon dioxide and releases oxygen.

The growing demand for seaweed production is further attributed to the rising popularity of veganism and plant-based products that support animal welfare. According to the 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% in the forthcoming years.


Increasing Adoption of Commercial Seaweed as Hydrocolloids to Propel Market Growth

The demand for commercial seaweeds from the food industry across the globe is rising due to its product efficiency in adding nutritional value to the food products. 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 extracts are the common seaweed extracts. They are used as gelling, stabilizing, emulsifying, and thickening agents in various food products, such as ice-cream, jam, 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 significant market growth in the forthcoming years.

 Increasing Consumption of Plant-based Products to Surge the Demand

The growing awareness regarding animal welfare concerns, as well as environmental sustainability, has developed the trend of consuming plant-based products among consumers. Plant-based products are gaining popularity across several sectors such as the food industry and cosmetics. The evolving perception of consumers that plant-based products are safer & healthier compared to the animal-originated products fuels the global commercial seaweed market growth. The rising population following a vegan and vegetarian diet has necessitated leading manufactures to innovate & develop seaweed-based food products. Seaweed being a good source of protein is now extensively utilized to develop plant-based protein alternatives, which supports the growth of the market.


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 plastic from industrial effluents. This poses many challenges in the seaweed harvesting from ocean beds, thereby, increasing the final cost of seaweeds in the market. The high cost of seaweed cultivation is expected to impede market growth. In January 2018, Alltech closed its algae production facility in Kentucky considering the operational efficiency of the business unit. However, the increasing government intervention to support the cultivation and harvesting of seaweed to cater to the growing demand for seaweed in the food industries is expected to help farmers and manufacturers to overcome this challenge.


By Type Analysis

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

Based on type, the segment includes red, brown, & green.

The red seaweed 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 seaweed is primarily used for the production of carrageenan, which itself is used as a food source along with the extensive application in food processing.

Green seaweed 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 seaweed is projected to increase its demand during the forecast period.

Brown seaweed is expected to showcase a promising growth on account of their growing consumption in Asian countries. In countries such as China, Japan, and Vietnam it is consumed raw or boiled along with coconut milk, crushed ice, and jelly.

By Form Analysis

Seaweed Powders to Hold Major Share Owing to their Easy Storage & Simple Utilization

Seaweed powders are widely utilized in the food and cosmetic industry. Powders are easy to transport and store. The process of converting seaweed extracts to powder removes water and helps to increase its shelf life. Seaweed powder is sold in the retail market 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 seaweed extracts are witnessing substantial growth owing to their increasing utilization in functional beverages & cosmetics.

By End-uses Analysis

Food & Beverage Segment to Lead Owing to Growing Food Product Applications

The emerging applications of seaweed in food products primarily drive the segmental growth. Food & beverage industry stakeholders have recognized the biomass originated from algae as an alternative protein source to fulfill the global protein demand. The growing consumption of vegan products is 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, 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, 2019 (USD Billion)

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Asia Pacific stood at USD 10.21 billion in 2019 and is expected to hold the largest global commercial seaweed market share in terms of revenue during the forecast period. This is attributed to the increasing adoption of commercial seaweed in traditional cuisines of various countries such as China, Japan, and Vietnam has elevated its global demand over the past few years. The surging demand for commercial seaweed from the foodservice sector propels the market growth in the region. Additionally, the growing popularity of plant-based cosmetics and personal care products among consumers are expected to fuel market growth in the forthcoming years.

North America is expected to experience considerable growth due to the growing demand for plant-based products in the 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 commercial seaweed in various products. Ongoing developments and technological advancements in the cultivation and harvesting of seaweed are expected to drive the growth of the market in the region.

Europe is expected to exhibit steady growth as compared to the other regions. Edible seaweeds such as chlorella and spirulina are helping to capitalize on the new trends of plant-based protein consumption in the region. In addition to this, the demand for high-quality and natural supplements in the regions is creating an opportunity for various seaweed pharmaceutical industry suppliers hailing from the developing countries of APAC. The increasing consumer shift towards vegan diet further aids in the consumption of seaweed in these regions. In Europe the imports of edible seaweed decreased by 66% from 2014-2018, due to the lack of supply. This is expected to contribute to market growth during the forecast period.

The South American market is projected to witness stable growth owing to its vast geographical area including various oceanic domains. The primary production of seaweed in South America is based on the harvesting of natural beds. The seaweed 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 and Africa is still at the nascent stage. The green seaweed 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 seaweed in dietary supplements and cosmetics.


Cargill, Inc. is Investing in the Innovation & Expansion of Product to Strengthen its Market Presence

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

  • Gelymar 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


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The 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 the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report includes and encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.

An Infographic Representation of Commercial Seaweed Market

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Report Scope & Segmentation:



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD billion)


  By Type, Form, End Uses, and Geography

By Type


  • Red Seaweed

  • Brown Seaweed

  • Green Seaweed

By Form


  • Flakes

  • Powder

  • Liquid

By End Uses


  • Food and Beverages

  • Agricultural Fertilizers

  • Animal Feed Additives

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Cosmetics and Personal Care

By Geography


  • North America

    • By Type

    • By Form

    • By End Uses

    • By Country

      • USA

      • Canada

      • Mexico

  • Europe

    • By Type

    • By Form

    • By End Uses

    • By Country

      • Germany

      • France

      • Italy

      • Spain

      • U.K.

      • Belgium

      • Russia

      • Rest of Europe

  • Asia Pacific

    • By Type

    • By Form

    • By End Uses

    • By Country

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • Australia

      • Rest of Asia Pacific

  • South America

    • By Type

    • By Form

    • By End Uses

    • By Country

      • Brazil

      • Argentina

      • Rest of South America

  • Middle East & Africa

    • By Type

    • By Form

    • By End Uses

    • By Country

      • South Africa

      • UAE

      • Rest of the Middle East & Africa

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global commercial seaweed market size was USD 13.33 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 23.04 billion by 2027.

In 2019, the Asia Pacific market value stood at USD 10.21 billion.

Growing at a CAGR of 5.8%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).

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

The increasing adoption of seaweed in several cosmetic and personal care products is expected to drive the market.

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

Asia Pacific dominated the market share in 2019.

Consumer adoption towards plant-based food products are expected to drive its growth.

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Commercial Seaweed Market Size, Share and Global Industry Trend Forecast till 2026
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