The global commercial seaweed market size is projected to reach USD 24.92 billion by 2028, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.51% during the forecast period. In 2020, the market’s value stood at USD 14.11 billion and it is expected to touch USD 15.01 billion in 2021, highlights Fortune Business Insights™ in its report, titled “Commercial Seaweed Market, 2021-2028”.
Potential Benefits of Seaweeds for COVID-19 Patients May Favor Market Growth
Seaweeds and their derivatives are known for their exceptional nutritional properties that are capable of deterring attacks by pathogens such as viruses. For example, carrageenan, a polysaccharide from red seaweed, has already been investigated as a therapeutic agent for respiratory diseases. The capacity of carrageenan is now being tested against more potent viruses, mainly the SARS-Cov-2, which is responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic.
In September 2020, for instance, researchers from India’s Central Institute of Fisheries Technology found that sulfated polysaccharides from seaweeds are active against multiple viruses, including the coronavirus. The findings have also been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). Another study in December 2020 by investigators from the University of Pittsburgh, USA, revealed that orally ingested seaweeds are likely to have direct antiviral effects on the coronavirus within the intestine. Such findings amid the current crisis will positively impact commercial seaweed cultivation around the world in the post-pandemic era. However, in spite of its many promises, supply chain disruptions and economic downturn triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic led to the market registering a low growth of 5.85% in 2020.
Based on type, the market is trifurcated into red, brown, and green seaweeds. The red segment led the global market with a share of 45.71% and the China market with a share of 46.26% in 2020.
By form, the market is segmented into flakes, powder, and liquid. On the basis of end-uses, the market is divided into food & beverages, agricultural fertilizers, animal feed additives, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics & personal care. In terms of geography, the market is categorized into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa.
Salient Features of the Report
The report incorporates an exhaustive examination of the key market drivers, trends, and restraints and provides accurate forecasting of upcoming market opportunities. In addition, the report encompasses an in-depth study of all market segments, as well as a comprehensive evaluation of the regional dynamics. Lastly, the report offers a careful profiling and thorough research of the top market players and their strategies.
Growing Demand for Organic Fertilizers to Favor the Market
Bringing sustainability to agricultural practices has been the focal point of concern for policymakers, economists, and climate science experts for many years. This has led to increased research and exploration of various natural ingredients that can be used as inputs and boost agricultural productivity. Seaweeds, in this context, have emerged as a viable solution. For example, fertilizers made from seaweeds directly deliver organic matter into the soil and activate beneficial microorganisms.
Furthermore, the chelation process created by polysaccharides in seaweeds releases nutrients slowly, enhancing fertilizer efficiency. These properties have stoked commercial seaweed cultivation in many parts of the globe. For example, Namibia-based Kelp Blue operates huge underwater farms that produce seaweeds to be used as ingredients in industries including fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. Moreover, the Namibian Government has also issued permit to the company to begin seaweed cultivation off its coast.
Widespread Consumption of Seaweeds to Fuel the Asia Pacific Market
Forming an integral part of traditional cuisines across China, Japan, and Vietnam, the growth of commercial seaweed farming is set to skyrocket in Asia Pacific during the forecast period. Apart from this, the increasing demand for plant-based ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products will also contribute to the regional market growth. In 2020, the Asia Pacific market size stood at USD 10.73 billion.
In North America, the escalating demand for functional food and beverages is expected to aid the dominance of the region in the commercial seaweed market share in the coming years. On the other hand, the market in Europe will be driven by the rising adoption of vegan and vegetarian diets.
Calculated Investments in R&D Activities by Key Players to Intensify Competition
Commercial cultivation holds enormous potential in not just increasing the profitability of companies but also in countering global warming and climate change. These possibilities are being fervently explored by key players, as well as reputed academic institutions, which open up new avenues for the commercial seaweed market growth.
Key Industry Development
April 2021: A team from the University of California at Santa Barbara identified a mammoth area suitable for commercial seaweed aquaculture in the US Gulf of Mexico. According to their research, cultivated seaweed can soak up excess nutrients from water bodies, mainly phosphorous and nitrogen, and prevent harmful algal blooms and revitalize dead zones in seas and oceans.
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