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Fostering world population that has led to a rapid increase in the demand of affordable, sustainable and nutrient-rich food to feed the growing population, is leading to the exploitation of microalgae, as they contain numerous bioactive compounds that are beneficial for human health. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), by 2050, algae may account for 18% of protein sources across the more diverse world market. Dried algae obtained from microalgae are rich of crucial nutrients, has anti-oxidant properties, and presence of fatty acids and natural pigments within them, that makes them ideal to be utilized in the production of superfoods or functional foods. Microalgae is widely acknowledged and accepted as dietary supplements across the world and are known to improve gastrointestinal, immunological, and cardiovascular health.
Along with new product launch, development of efficient and cost-effective technologies for the production of a huge amount of microalgae to be utilized in the food industry as food ingredients is the major focus of key market players. Cyanotech Corporation, DIC Corporation, Corbion NV, and Algaetech International Sdn Bhd are some of the major market players of the microalgae food market and holds a major share of the market.
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Microalgae are eukaryotic organisms, found in marine systems, soil environments, or freshwater, and are a crucial part of the food chain. They are a rich source of vitamins, proteins, fibers, and minerals, and hence are advantageous for human health. Spirulina and Chlorella are the two significant strains of microalgae that have tremendous anti-oxidant properties and hence are widely used in the production of microalgae food.
Presence of carbohydrates, enzymes, fiber, protein, and vitamins in microalgae is boosting their growth as a crucial food ingredient in food & beverage industry, especially in developing economies such as China, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, and others. Rising adoption of microalgae as supplements or natural colorants in various food products including, pizza, snack bars, drinks, and others is expected to aid the growth of microalgae food market. Furthermore, rising health awareness among people is projected to fuel the consumption of dietary or health supplements made up of microalgae biomass during the forecast years.
Stringent regulations on production and consumption of food that includes microalgae may hamper the market growth over the forecast period. Algae may accumulate toxins or heavy metals sometimes when exposed to it in marine systems. In Europe, there are firm legal limits for the safe maximum exposure of metals, such as lead, mercury, and others in food for human consumption. Other restraining factors for the growth of global microalgae food market are climatic variability and less awareness about the product among consumers.
Some of the major companies that are present in the global microalgae food market are DIC Corporation, Taau Australia Private Limited, Cyanotech Corporation, TerraVia Holdings, Inc., Cellana, LLC., E.I.D- Parry (India) Ltd., and Fuqing King Dnarmsa Spirulina Co. Ltd.
· Dunaliella salina
By Distribution Channel
· Retail Stores
· Online Channels
· North America (the USA and Canada)
· Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia and Rest of Europe)
· Asia Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, Southeast Asia and Rest of Asia Pacific)
· Latin America (Brazil, Mexico and Rest of Latin America)
· Middle East & Africa (South Africa, GCC and Rest of the Middle East & Africa)
At present, Spirulina and Chlorella hold the major market share in the global microalgae food market as both the strain types are beneficial for human health and hence is rapidly getting adoption by food & beverage product manufacturers. The aforementioned strain segments are expected to constitute 80% of the microalgae food market during the forecast period. Spirulina is a blue-green alga, that is rich in Vitamin B12, Fatty Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA), and complete protein, while Chlorella is ultra-rich in crucial nucleic acids and is an efficient cleansing agent for the human body.
Hypermarkets/Supermarkets are projected to hold the major revenue share during the forecast period, owing to high consumer dependency on them for buying grocery products as well as dietary supplements. Presence of a wide range of products in hypermarkets/supermarkets provides customers a wide range of options to choose from, hence boosting the market growth. Online channels segment is expected to witness a significant rise over the forecast period, due to ease, convenience, and discount on particular products offered by them.
At present, North America, followed by Europe holds the major market shares and is expected to be holding the major market shares in the global microalgae food market during the forecast period, owing to escalating adoption of microalgae as food additives by food producers, coupled with the rising number of SME in microalgae cultivation industry.
The microalgae food market in the Asia Pacific is projected to witness a rapid growth owing to increased cultivation and consumption of microalgae food by Asian consumers, especially those based in China, Indonesia, and South Korea.
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