Carrageenan Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Carrageenan Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Kappa, Iota, Lambda), By Function (Thickener, Gelling Agent, Stabilizer), By Application, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027

  • Published Date: Dec, 2020
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2019
  • Report ID: GVR-4-68039-268-0
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2016 - 2018
  • Number of Pages: 173

Report Overview

The global carrageenan market size was valued at USD 741.9 million in 2019 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9% from 2020 to 2027. The market is anticipated to be driven by growing demand for thickeners and gelling agents from the pharmaceutical, personal care and cosmetics, and food and beverages industries, specifically in emerging economies of Asia Pacific. The product is used in various food applications, including bakery and confectionery, meat products, dairy products, sauces and dressings, and beverage, as thickening agents, gelling agents, film-former, texturizing agents, and stabilizing agents. A majority of consumers these days are preferring healthy and nutritious foods. Rising preference for products with natural ingredients and various applications of hydrocolloids in the food and beverages industry are the reasons for the uptick in the demand for carrageenan.

Japan carrageenan market size, by application, 2016 - 2027 (USD Million)

In Japan, the personal care and cosmetics application segment generated a revenue of USD 2.97 million in 2019. Rising hygiene awareness and beauty consciousness among consumers are the key factors fueling industry growth. Increasing expenditure on high quality and natural personal care and beauty products among urban consumers is expected to have a positive impact on industry growth.

The primary factor contributing to the wide usage of the product in the food industry is its capability to bind with water and enhance the properties of food ingredients. The global market is witnessing significant growth on account of the growing demand for convenience foods among health-conscious consumers.

The ability of the product to act as a fat replacer in processed food products drives its demand as consumers are preferring low-fat and low-calorie bearing products. The processed food industry has witnessed healthy growth in the recent past and is projected to exhibit a high growth rate in the coming years, impacting the market growth positively.

Companies including CP Kelco; TIC Gums; Prinova Group; Ingredion Incorporated; Ashland Inc.; Kerry Group; Cargill; and DuPont are the key manufacturers of the product globally. Other prominent players include Lauta Carrageenan, Aquarev Industries, MCPI Corporation, Marcel Carrageenan, and TBK Manufacturing Corporation.

Function Insights

Thickener led the market and accounted for a 39.4% share of the global revenue in 2019. Thickeners are substances that are used to increase the viscosity of fluid without changing any other properties. Generally, thickening agents are categorized as food-grade and non-food grade thickeners. These agents are used as additives in the food and beverages industry and are required to be approved by the concerned food administrative bodies.

The growing adoption of natural food thickeners is likely to be a key factor in boosting the market growth. Furthermore, the surge in demand for healthy, nutritional, and convenient food products, which demand carrageenan as a thickening agent, is likely to support industry growth. The growing trend of using clean-label products is creating several opportunities for the development of new products and novel formulations in the food and beverage sector.

Gelling agent is expected to expand at a revenue-based CAGR of 6.0% from 2020 to 2027. The three variants of commercial carrageenan, including iota, lambda, and kappa, exhibit distinctive gelling properties. For instance, lambda carrageenan makes a less rigid, more elastic gel, and kappa carrageenan is used for making the stiff gel.

The growing applications of gelling agents in the bakery and confectionery industry on account of their ability to produce natural texture are expected to boost the industry growth. Such agents act as barriers for fats and oils in processed foods. The shifting consumer demographics and growing consumption of processed food products in the developing economies are anticipated to drive demand for the product as a gelling agent.

Application Insights

The food and beverage application segment held the largest revenue share of 72.4% in 2019. The growth of this segment can be attributed to the increasing demand for processed food products, along with increasing product consumption in the dairy industry. Food and beverage manufacturers primarily use carrageenan owing to its ability to shift the rheology of food systems, including texture and viscosity.

The alteration of viscosity or texture of food helps modify the sensory properties, which enables carrageenan’s demand as a food ingredient to perform specific purposes. Carrageenan finds application in various food formulations, such as toppings, sauces, salad dressings, soups, and gravies. They are also used in desserts, candies, jellies, jams, and ice creams to obtain the desired texture. Future acceptance, functional attributes, and positive endorsement of the product are expected to positively contribute to the product demand in the food and beverage sector.

Bakery products are expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period. Rising demand for organic and natural baked goods and the trend of healthy snacks are expected to drive the demand for the product over the forecast period. The growing use of carrageenan as a thickening and gelling agent for bakery products is surging the product demand.

The pharmaceutical application segment generated a revenue of USD 81.1 million in 2019. It is extensively utilized as excipients in drug delivery systems; as foaming, wetting, solubilizing, stabilizing, emulsifying, suspending, and bioadhesive agents; and as permeation enhancers. Such distinctive properties offer multiple attractive features to liquid oral pharmaceutical formulations. For instance, the product forms an elastic and transparent gel with thixotropic properties, which are very useful in pharmaceutical syrups and emulsions.

Product Insights

Kappa carrageenan held the largest revenue share of 67.7% in 2019 and is expected to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period. It is a natural extract derived from a particular red seaweed species, which are farmed and processed at facilities. It is used as a thickener, emulsifier, stabilizer, gelling, and binding agent. These properties make it a useful ingredient in meat processing. Typical applications of kappa-carrageenan include poultry rolls, turkey breast, and cooked cured ham.

Over 70% of the global carrageenan production is based on kappa carrageenan. It is the most used type of carrageenan in the food and beverage industry, wherein it acts as a bodying agent and emulsifier in ice creams, cheese, puddings, and chocolates. It forms gels with calcium and potassium salts. While calcium creates a brittle, stiff gel, potassium produces an elastic, rigid gel. Kappa also provides the strongest gels of all types of carrageenan; however, they are most prone to bleeding.

Global carrageenan market share, by product, 2019 (%)

Lambda type is cold, soluble in water, and acts as a thickener that develops better mouthfeel in dairy products. It is considered to be a highly sulfated kind of carrageenan majorly used for its ability to impart a creamy sensation and mouthfeel to dairy beverages. It is the only type of carrageenan that needs high temperature for hydration since it has a content of over 35% ester sulfate and a small percentage of 3.6% anhydro galactose imparting high viscosity of these systems.

Regional Insights

Europe held the largest revenue share of 31.0% in 2019. Increasing R&D expenditure, along with the rising production of pharmaceuticals in Europe, is projected to bolster the demand for carrageenan in pharmaceutical applications. Furthermore, well-established end-use industries, such as food and beverage, personal care and cosmetics, and pharmaceutical, have contributed positively to the regional market growth.

In 2019, North America emerged as one of the most prominent regional markets for carrageenan. The U.S., followed by Canada, is dominating the industry owing to the growing agricultural activities to achieve high productivity, which has led to high demand for biostimulant products in the region. Biostimulant producers mainly prefer products, such as carrageenan and agar, as their demand is higher from the agriculture segment, where they offer numerous benefits, such as high productivity and superior plant growth. These factors are likely to fuel industry growth.

The demand for the product is mainly driven by the developing processed food industry and growing inclination toward natural ingredients-based convenience food products. However, rising consumer awareness regarding the adverse impacts of chemical additives has led food manufacturers to diversify the natural additives category. Rapid research and development of natural food additives will additionally benefit industry growth.

The Asia Pacific market is likely to expand at the fastest rate over the forecast period owing to the rapid growth of the food and beverage industry in the region. Rising consumer demand for “cleaner label” food products has compelled manufacturers in the region to focus on product innovation over the past few years.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The industry is fragmented in nature with the presence of various participants across the value chain. Several multinational organizations possess the caliber of presenting innovations. These companies are also entering into partnerships with small-sized companies having a strong foothold in the local market. Such partnerships aim to achieve unique selling points for leading industry players.

Moreover, key players in the industry face healthy competition from small-sized and local players as the latter offer cheap and customized products according to the buyer’s needs. Carrageenan ingredients are massively produced in Asia Pacific. Countries in the region, especially the Philippines, have several players that are engaged in producing carrageenan ingredients. Some prominent players in the global carrageenan market include:

  • DuPont

  • CP Kelco U.S. Inc.

  • Ceamsa

  • W Hydrocolloids Inc.

  • LAUTA Ltd.

  • Aquarev Industries

  • MCPI Corporation

  • Erik Ocaya and Josh Cabrera

  • Marcel Trading Corporation

  • TBK Manufacturing Corporation

  • ACCEL Carrageenan Corporation

  • Ingredion Incorporated

  • Cargill, Incorporated

  • Ashland

  • TIC Gums, Inc.

Carrageenan Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2020

USD 780.2 million

Revenue forecast in 2027

USD 1,169.8 million

Growth Rate

CAGR of 5.9% from 2020 to 2027

Market demand in 2020

51.15 kilotons

Volume forecast in 2027

64.13 kilotons

Growth Rate

CAGR of 3.2% from 2020 to 2027

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2018

Forecast period

2020 - 2027

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million, volume in kilotons, and CAGR from 2020 to 2027

Report coverage

Revenue and volume forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Product, function, application, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; Germany; France; U.K.; Italy; China; India; Japan; South Korea; Brazil; Argentina; Saudi Arabia; South Africa

Key companies profiled

DuPont; CP Kelco U.S. Inc.; Ceamsa; W Hydrocolloids Inc.; LAUTA Ltd.; Aquarev Industries; MCPI Corporation; Erik Ocaya and Josh Cabrera; Marcel Trading Corporation; TBK Manufacturing Corporation; ACCEL Carrageenan Corporation; Ingredion Incorporated; Cargill, Incorporated; Ashland; TIC Gums, Inc.

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options

Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts volume and revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global carrageenan market report based on product, function, application, and region:

  • Product Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Kappa

    • Iota

    • Lambda

  • Function Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Thickener

    • Gelling Agent

    • Stabilizer

    • Other

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Food & Beverage

      • Bakery

      • Confectionery

      • Sauces & Dressings

      • Dairy Products

      • Meat Products

      • Beverages

      • Others

    • Pharmaceutical

    • Personal Care & Cosmetics

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • U.K.

      • Germany

      • France

      • Italy

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • South Korea

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

      • Argentina

    • Middle East & Africa

      • Saudi Arabia

      • South Africa

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