The global algae protein market size was estimated at USD 690.8 million in 2018 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period. Increasing consumption of protein products across the world, owing to changing lifestyles and rising health consciousness among consumers, has been driving the market in recent years.
Algae protein is used for promoting weight loss, reducing fatigue & anxiety, and in case of diabetes, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and premenstrual heart diseases among other health issues. Enrichment of the nutrient content in food, positive effect on the immune system, and other health-related benefits of the product are driving the market globally. Moreover, rising sustainability issues such as increase in greenhouse gases and loss of biodiversity during the production of meat have resulted in a shift in consumer preferences toward plant-based and other alternative sources.
Millennials across the world are increasingly opting for a fit lifestyle as a result of growing health awareness. They are frequently participating in various sports, athletic events, and other fitness activities. Furthermore, millennials are increasingly consuming food products such as meat, eggs, and supplements to strengthen muscles and improve physique. This, in turn, is contributing to the global demand for protein-rich products.
The protein content of different sources varies drastically; for instance, beef contains nearly 17.4%, whereas beer yeast offers 45%. Manufacturers of food & beverages and nutraceuticals are continually seeking nutrient sources to enhance the protein content of processed food products. Among all the sources, spirulina and chlorella algae contain the highest amount of protein. Therefore, manufacturers of food & beverages, pet food, and nutraceuticals are increasingly using algae as an ingredient in their products. In essence, the demand for algae is expected to witness a surge over the coming years since it is a lucrative source of protein.
Rising consumption of junk food products and increasingly busy lifestyles have resulted in a lower intake of required nutrients, especially among the millennial population. In addition, changing food habits have been leading to obesity and other serious health issues. Therefore, to maintain the required nutritional intake, consumers are opting for nutraceutical products since they are easy to consume and offer high nutrition value.
Similar to traditional sources such as soy, whey, and pea, among others, algae protein has been generating significant traction in the nutraceuticals industry owing to its rich nutrient content and companies are increasingly opting for algae as a nutraceutical ingredient. For instance, dietary supplements companies such as NOW Foods and Vimergy LLC have begun offering products containing algae protein.
Among products, spirulina recorded the highest share of the market in 2018, accounting for a share of nearly 54% of the market revenues. Spirulina is a rich source of protein among all the plant-based sources as it contains nearly 50%-70% protein of its dry weight, whereas, soya flour contains only 35%. Characteristics such as low nucleic acid content, high concentration of vitamins and minerals, and easy digestibility of the cell wall compared to other microbes have attracted various food or feed manufacturers to spirulina.
Nutraceuticals, food & pet food, and personal care manufacturers are increasingly incorporating spirulina into their products owing to its rich protein, mineral, and vitamin content. In addition, increasing demand for plant-based nutrient sources is anticipated to augment the demand for spirulina over the coming years.
Chlorella is a unicellular microalgae, which is mainly cultivated in freshwater. It mostly occurs in Taiwan and Japan. Chlorella is a rich source of various nutritional components and contains 50-60% protein, 20% fat, 20% carbohydrates, 5% fiber, and 10% minerals & vitamins. On account of the aforementioned nutritional components, chlorella is being increasingly cultivated commercially in artificial ponds.
The demand for chlorella is expected to be driven principally by the pharmaceuticals industry over the coming years. Chlorella is also used by personal care manufacturers in the manufacture of skincare products as it stimulates collagen synthesis in the skin and thus, helps prevent/delay wrinkles. Moreover, the presence of a large number of bioactive such as proteins, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoid pigments makes chlorella a lucrative ingredient in various food & pet food products.
Freshwater algae accounted for the largest share among the sources in 2018, recording a share of nearly 69% of the overall industry revenues. A large number of companies including Cyanotech Corporation, EID Perry, and others are cultivating algae in ponds and photobioreactors, mainly using freshwater. Increasing demand for spirulina and chlorella, primarily from nutraceuticals and pet food industries, is expected to expand freshwater algae segment in the coming years.
There are two types of marine algae, namely microalgae and macroalgae, and both types find application in nutraceutical industry on account of abundant minerals and vitamins present in them. Microalgae is a rich source of food ingredients such as β-carotene, Vitamins C, A, E, H, B1, B2, B6, and B12, astaxanthin, polysaccharides, and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Macroalgae, also known as seaweed, is a key source of essential nutrients and new bioactive molecules. Red and brown seaweeds contain various nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and proteins, and are good sources of essential fatty acids. These are used to prepare bioactive peptides and improve digestibility. Marine algae segment is anticipated to progress at a relatively higher CAGR of over 7.5% over the forecast years.
Dietary supplements constituted for over 42% of the global algae protein market in 2018. The expansion of the nutraceuticals industry in China, Japan, and India, owing to rising domestic consumption of nutritional supplements, is anticipated to promote the demand for the product over the forecast period. Liquid, powder, tablet, capsule, and paste forms of spirulina and chlorella are the popular algae protein-based dietary supplements in the region and across the globe.
Changing lifestyles along with rising chronic diseases have led to a considerable rise in demand for various dietary supplements across the world. This trend is expected to benefit the global market as dietary supplement manufacturers are increasingly incorporating algae protein-based products in their product offerings.
Food manufacturers worldwide are increasingly developing food products with healthy ingredients to leverage the growing shift in consumer demand toward a healthy diet and lifestyle. Algae protein offers multiple health benefits along with high protein content; therefore, food processors are beginning to incorporate the same into their products. Various food products such as juices, chips, and chocolate bars are made with algae protein being the primary ingredient.
Protein scarcity in animal feed has been proliferating due to reduced land fertility and increased dependency on the existing land caused by expanding population. Therefore, environment-friendly alternative sources of protein such as algae protein have been generating significant traction in animal feed sector. The product is majorly being incorporated by poultry, aquatic, pet, and cow feed manufacturing companies owing to its rich protein and amino acid content.
North America dominated the global market in 2018, with a revenue share of over 28%, and is projected to retain its pole position till 2025. Dietary supplements and food products are the major application segments in the North America market, attributable to the rising fitness awareness among consumers in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Moreover, growing awareness about the health benefits of protein bars and shakes and increasing adoption of on account of rising sustainability concerns are expected to further propel the demand for the product in North America over the coming years.
In Europe, aquafeed demand has witnessed a significant increase in demand over the past few years, mainly owing to the expansion of marine aquaculture in countries such as Norway, Denmark, and Ireland. The growing aquaculture industry in Europe is expected to boost the demand for the product over the forecast period.
The market in Asia Pacific is expected to grow significantly owing to the growing exports and domestic demand for plant-based ingredients. China is one of the largest producers of plant-based ingredients in the region due to the easy availability of raw materials in the country. In addition, growth in pharmaceutical, cosmetics, animal feed, and food & beverage industries is likely to propel the demand for plant proteins from developing economies such as China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and South Korea over the next few years.
The market is moderately fragmented with the presence of medium-sized companies. Corbion; Cyanotech Corporation; Earthrise Nutritional; Far East Bio-Tec Co., Ltd.; E.I.D. - Parry Limited; ENERGYbits Inc.; Rainbow Light; NOW Foods; Prairie Naturals; and Vimergy LLC are the key companies operating in the market. Most of these companies majorly offer products in the powder and tablet or capsule forms.
Large-sized companies are increasingly expanding their research & development and production capacities on account of the increasing demand for the product from end users. For instance, Corbion acquired SB Oils, a joint-venture between Corbion and Bunge Limited in 2018. With this acquisition, Corbion has complete control over Brazil-based algae facility of their joint venture. Corbion’s overall production of the algae-based product is expected to increase by this development in the coming years
Strategic initiatives of key market players are majorly driven by the increasing product demand from end-user industries. Therefore, the global market is expected to witness acquisitions and expansions in the coming years owing to increased product demand. Also, new entrants are anticipated to enter the market on account of the attractiveness of the market.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2014 - 2017
2019 - 2025
Volume in Tons; Revenue in USD Thousand & CAGR from 2019 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa
U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, UK, France, Spain, China, India, Japan, Australia, Brazil
Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
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This report forecasts revenue growth at a regional & country level and provides an analysis of the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global algae protein market report based on product, source, application, and region:
Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
Source Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
Bakery & Confectionery
Sauces, Dressings & Spreads
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
b. The global algae protein market size was estimated at USD 734.4 million in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 781.3 million in 2020.
b. The global algae protein market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.6% from 2019 to 2025 to reach USD 1,081.8 million by 2025.
b. North America dominated the algae protein market with a share of 28% in 2019. This is attributable to the rising fitness awareness among consumers in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
b. Some key players operating in the algae protein market include Corbion; Cyanotech Corporation; Earthrise Nutritional; Far East Bio-Tec Co., Ltd.; E.I.D. - Parry Limited; ENERGYbits Inc.; Rainbow Light; NOW Foods; Prairie Naturals; and Vimergy LLC.
b. Key factors that are driving the market growth include increasing consumption of protein products across the world, owing to changing lifestyles and rising health consciousness among consumers.
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The demand for nutraceuticals & functional foods is expected to witness an upward surge owing to consumers opting for immunity boosting supplements during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, a decline in the consumption of poultry, meat and seafood products across the globe is expected to increase the demand for plant and animal-based protein supplements in the near future. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.