GVR Report cover Commercial Seaweed Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Commercial Seaweed Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Brown Seaweeds, Red Seaweeds, Green Seaweeds), By Form, By Application, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2021 - 2028

  • Report ID: 978-1-68038-995-1
  • Number of Pages: 145
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Report Overview

The global commercial seaweed market size was valued at USD 16.6 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.8% from 2021 to 2028. The market demand is anticipated to be driven by the growing technological developments in cultivating seaweed coupled with the rising investments in application segments, including animal feed and agriculture.

U.S. commercial seaweed market size, by product, 2018 - 2028 (USD Million)

Seaweed is one of the major sources of iodine, which is rare in other food items or ingredients. In addition, it is highly important to regulate the estradiol and estrogen levels in the human body. The use of seaweed and its isolates enhances satiety, further reducing the postprandial absorption rates of glucose and lipids in humans, which help in the development of anti-obesity foods. Seaweeds are consumed as food as well as ingredients owing to their anti-microbial properties that give a preservative benefit to the foods.

Customers are increasingly using seaweed in meat and bakery products, wherein it helps in the retention of water along with gel formation. Furthermore, growing consumer awareness regarding the benefits of nutritional food is further propelling the demand for carrageenan in developing countries such as China, Indonesia, and other South Asian countries, and this trend is likely to propel the growth of the market in the foreseeable future.

Seaweed absorbs carbon dioxide as it grows and can be used as biomass for energy production. In the process, seaweed is crushed, then water is added to form a slurry. With the help of microorganisms, fermentation is carried out in order to produce methane. The resultant methane gas is used as a fuel in gas engines, which produce electricity. Furthermore, the co-extrusion process associated with commercial seaweed offers a wide range of calibers. The continuous investment in R&D by major players in the market has significantly contributed to enhanced preservatives, thickeners, and gums. The growing advancements in the potential applications of seaweed are anticipated to boost the growth of the market over the forecast period of 2020-2028.

The brown seaweeds product segment is expected to witness significant growth of 10.7% from 2020 to 2028 in the U.S. market. Brown seaweeds are used for making hydrocolloids such as agar, alginate, and carrageenan. Hydrocolloids are used as thickening agents, emulsifiers, stabilizers, and water retention agents for different food applications. Growing demand for healthy food additives, which can substantially replace calorie-rich oils and fats in food products, is expected to drive the demand for hydrocolloids, thereby fueling the growth of the market in the U.S.

The exponential growth of the market has witnessed the slowdown during 2020 owing to the widespread coronavirus. The trade of seaweed has reduced significantly due to the travel restrictions in the majority of the key seaweed-producing countries. The farmed seaweed which accounts for more than 97% share in the total seaweed production has observed a gradual decrease in production from June 2020 to November 2020. The domestic consumption of seaweed has witnessed a lesser impact due to COVID-19 in the key seaweed-producing countries such as China, Indonesia, South Korea, and other South Asian countries. On the other hand, the exports of seaweed to the key demanding countries have a significant impact due to the closure of international trade and international borders to restrict the spread of coronavirus across the globe.

Product Insights

The red seaweed product segment dominated the market and accounted for the largest revenue share of 52.6% in 2020. The segment is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period on account of its excellent functional attributes. They are utilized as food crops and are enriched with vitamins and proteins. Moreover, red seaweeds are extensively used in food preparations and are an excellent source of two hydrocolloids, including agar and kappa carrageenan.

The key benefits of red algae are their ability to regulate blood sugar levels and lower bad cholesterol. It is also considered a rich source of antioxidants and helps in boosting the immune system and nourishes the skin. These aforementioned factors are projected to spur market growth of red seaweed in the food & beverage and other application industries.

Brown seaweed is the second-largest product segment, accounting for the significant revenue share of 45.92% in 2020. The brown seaweed segment is estimated to register strong growth over the forecast period on account of its widespread utilization in industries such as food & beverage, agriculture, and animal feed. Rising health awareness among consumers, coupled with continuous research & development activities intended at developing novel products, is expected to propel the growth of the segment.

Application Insights

Seaweed is widely used as food for direct human consumption. The Human consumption segment accounts for the largest revenue share of 81.43% in 2020, on the back of a growing population, rising disposable incomes, awareness regarding healthy eating habits among health-conscious consumers, and increased demand for processed food products across the globe. The demand for seaweeds for direct human consumption is higher in the Asia Pacific region, mainly in China, South Korea, and Japan, owing to its cultural aspects.

Commercial seaweed finds application in various food formulations such as toppings, sauces, salad dressings, soups, and gravies. They are also used in different food products, including desserts, candies, jellies, jams, and ice creams, to impart the desired texture. Thus, the growing applications of seaweed in the food & beverage industry are projected to propel the growth of the market in coming years.

Form Insights

The liquid form of seaweed accounted for the largest share revenue of 52.30% in 2020. The liquid form of seaweed is used as foliar fertilizer and soil conditioner for plants to provide minerals, vitamins, potassium, and enzymes that accelerate their growth. These nutrients fuel cell growth in plants, resulting in stronger, healthier, and more disease-resistant plants.

Global commercial seaweed market share, by form, 2020 (%)

Seaweed extracts are marketed as biostimulants and liquid fertilizers since they comprise many growth regulators such as auxin, betaines, cytokinins, gibberellins, and macronutrients including K, Ca, and P, and micronutrients including Cu, B, Fe, Zn, Mn, Co, and Mo. Growing demand for the product as biostimulants and insecticides for plant growth is estimated to boost the growth of the liquid form segment over the forecast period.

Powdered-based seaweed is likely to witness significant growth of 10.7% over the forecast period on account of their distinguished attributes such as longer shelf-life, low operating costs, and easier storage and transportation, which reduces chances of spoilage. Furthermore, the rising consumption of organic and non-GMO ingredients, which are economical in nature and have low toxicity in the human consumption application, is projected to further spur the demand for powdered form-based seaweed in the foreseeable future.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific dominated the market and accounted for the largest revenue share of 75.1%. China is the leading producer of seaweed in the Asia Pacific wherein China, South Korea, and Japan are among the leading consumers of seaweed in the region. Commercial seaweed is one of the most popular marine plant foods in these countries, having traditional importance in food and medical applications. Increasing product demand in the regional food industry is anticipated to boost the industry in the Asia Pacific. The Asia Pacific market is likely to expand further at the fastest growth rate of 11.0% over the forecast period of 2020-2028.

Europe is one of the prominent regions after the Asia Pacific for the production and consumption of seaweed across the globe. The European countries such as Norway, Ireland, and Spain are some of the key producers of seaweed in the region. Ireland dominates the seaweed export market in Europe, by exporting the seaweed to the majority of the European countries including the U.K., France, and Germany.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The global commercial seaweed market is characterized by the medium presence of players in the market. The production of seaweed is concentrated in the coastal areas of seaweed-producing countries such as China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Japan. The market has a high potential for emerging and new players that require broad support across the value chain. Mergers & acquisitions and joint ventures are the crucial strategies adopted by the majority of key players to expand their market share. Most of the key industry participants also have their own distribution network to provide the product quality in order to gain a competitive advantage in the form of cost benefits with the support of increased profit margin. Some of the prominent players in the commercial seaweed market include:

  • Cargill Inc.

  • E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company

  • Roullier Group

  • Biostadt India Limited

  • Compo GmbH & Co. KG

  • Acadian Seaplants Limited

  • Gelymar SA

  • BrandT Consolidated, Inc.

  • Seasol International Pty. Ltd.

  • CP Kelco.

  • West Coast Marine Bio-Processing Corp.

  • Leili Group

  • Chase Organics GB Limited

  • Indigrow Ltd.

  • Travena Organic Solutions Ltd.

Commercial Seaweed Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2021

USD 18.4 billion

Revenue forecast in 2028

USD 37.8 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 10.8% from 2021 to 2028

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2017 - 2019

Forecast period

2021 - 2028

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2020 to 2028

Report coverage

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

Segments covered

Product, application, form, region

Regional scope

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

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; U.K.; Germany; France; Ireland; Spain; Norway; China; Indonesia; Japan; South Korea; Philippines; Brazil; Argentina; South Africa

Key companies profiled

Cargill Inc.; E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company; Roullier Group; Biostadt India Limited; Compo GmbH & Co. KG; Acadian Seaplants Limited; Gelymar SA; BrandT Consolidated, Inc.; Seasol International Pty. Ltd.; CP Kelco.; West Coast Marine Bio-Processing Corp.; Leili Group; Chase Organics GB Limited; Indigrow Ltd.; Travena Organic Solutions Ltd.

Customization scope

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2017 to 2028. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global commercial seaweed market report on the basis of product, application, form, and region: 

  • Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • Brown seaweeds

    • Red seaweeds

    • Green seaweeds

  • Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • Agriculture

    • Animal Feed

    • Human Consumption

    • Others

  • Form Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • Liquid

    • Powdered

    • Flakes

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • France

      • U.K.

      • Germany

      • Ireland

      • Spain

      • Norway

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Indonesia

      • Japan

      • South Korea

      • Philippines

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

      • Argentina

    • Middle East & Africa

      • South Africa

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