Seaweed Market Report by Environment (Aquaculture, Wild Harvest), Product (Red, Brown, Green), Application (Processed Foods, Direct Human Consumption, Hydrocolloids, Fertilizers, Animal Feed Additives, and Others), and Region 2024-2032

Seaweed Market Report by Environment (Aquaculture, Wild Harvest), Product (Red, Brown, Green), Application (Processed Foods, Direct Human Consumption, Hydrocolloids, Fertilizers, Animal Feed Additives, and Others), and Region 2024-2032

Report Format: PDF+Excel | Report ID: SR112023A1799
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Market Overview:

The global seaweed market size reached US$ 8.3 Billion in 2023. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to reach US$ 17.8 Billion by 2032, exhibiting a growth rate (CAGR) of 8.6% during 2024-2032. The expanding food and beverage industry, growing awareness about health benefits, increasing applications in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, technological advancements, and government support are some of the major factors propelling the market.

Report Attribute
Key Statistics
Base Year
Forecast Years
Historical Years
Market Size in 2023 US$ 8.3 Billion
Market Forecast in 2032 US$ 17.8 Billion
Market Growth Rate 2024-2032 8.6%

Seaweed is a type of marine algae that grows in various bodies of water, such as oceans, seas, and lakes. It is a broad term encompassing thousands of species, including red, brown, and green seaweed. Seaweeds are multicellular organisms that lack true roots, stems, or leaves. They anchor themselves to substrates like rocks or coral reefs, using specialized structures known as holdfasts. Seaweeds play a crucial role in marine ecosystems as primary producers, converting sunlight and nutrients into organic matter through photosynthesis. They provide habitats and food sources for a diverse range of marine organisms, including fish, invertebrates, and mammals. In addition to their ecological significance, seaweeds have various commercial applications. They are harvested for human consumption and used in a wide array of products, including food, cosmetics, fertilizers, and pharmaceuticals. Seaweeds are also valuable for their potential as a renewable source of biofuel, as they can be converted into bioethanol or other forms of energy.

Global Seaweed Market Report

Seaweed is gaining popularity as a nutritious and sustainable food ingredient. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. The increasing demand for healthy and natural food products has led to the incorporation of seaweed in various food and beverage applications, such as snacks, seasonings, and sushi. Additionally, seaweed is known for its numerous health benefits, including boosting immune function, supporting digestive health, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. As consumers become more health-conscious and seek functional foods, the demand for seaweed-based products has surged. Besides this, seaweed extracts have been used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries due to their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing properties. They are utilized in skincare products, wound dressings, and pharmaceutical formulations, driving the market growth. In line with this, innovations in seaweed cultivation techniques, such as integrated multi-trophic aquaculture and offshore farming, have increased production efficiency and reduced costs. Additionally, advancements in processing technologies have enhanced the extraction and purification of seaweed components, expanding their range of applications.

Seaweed Market Trends/Drivers:

Rising Demand in Food and Beverage Industry

Seaweed's nutritional profile, rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants has increased its demand in healthy and natural food products. Additionally, the rising interest in plant-based diets and alternative protein sources have led to the incorporation of seaweed in various vegetarian and vegan food products. The versatility of seaweed allows it to be used as a flavor enhancer, texturizer, or even a standalone ingredient in snacks, condiments, and sushi. Furthermore, its umami taste, reminiscent of the fifth basic taste, is appealing to consumers seeking new and unique flavor experiences. Moreover, the rising demand for seaweed in the food and beverage industry is driven by health-conscious consumers seeking nutritious and sustainable food options.

Growing Awareness about Health Benefits

The increasing awareness about the health benefits associated with seaweed consumption has been a significant factor driving its market growth. Seaweed is recognized for its rich content of essential vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and bioactive compounds. These include iodine, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and polysaccharides, which contribute to its potential health-promoting properties. Studies have shown that seaweed consumption may have positive effects on immune function, gut health, cardiovascular health, and even cancer prevention.

Expanding Applications in Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics

Seaweed extracts have found applications in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries due to their beneficial properties. Seaweed is rich in bioactive compounds like phlorotannins, fucoidan, and alginates, which possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing properties. In the pharmaceutical sector, seaweed extracts are being explored for their potential use in drug delivery systems, wound healing, and as a source of bioactive compounds for various therapeutic purposes. In the cosmetics industry, seaweed extracts are incorporated into skincare and haircare products due to their moisturizing, anti-aging, and soothing effects. They can improve skin hydration, elasticity, and protect against environmental damage.



Note: Information in the above chart consists of dummy data and is only shown here for representation purpose. Kindly contact us for the actual market size and trends.

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Seaweed Industry Segmentation:

IMARC Group provides an analysis of the key trends in each segment of the global seaweed market report, along with forecasts at the global, regional and country levels from 2024-2032. Our report has categorized the market based on environment, product and application.

Breakup by Environment:

  • Aquaculture
  • Wild Harvest

Aquaculture dominates the market

The report has provided a detailed breakup and analysis of the market based on the environment. This includes aquaculture and wild harvest. According to the report, aquaculture represented the largest segment.

Aquaculture provides controlled and optimized conditions for the cultivation of aquatic organisms, allowing for higher productivity and efficiency compared to wild harvesting. This controlled environment ensures consistent water quality, nutrition, and disease management, leading to improved growth rates and higher yields. Additionally, aquaculture addresses the challenges of overfishing and depletion of wild fish stocks. With increasing global demand for seafood, aquaculture offers a sustainable solution by providing a controlled and regulated environment for fish and shellfish farming. It reduces the pressure on natural ecosystems and helps maintain biodiversity. Furthermore, aquaculture offers greater flexibility in terms of location and scalability. It can be implemented in various settings, including coastal areas, inland ponds, and recirculating systems. This versatility allows for the development of aquaculture operations in regions where traditional fishing is limited or where land-based agriculture is challenging. Besides this, aquaculture enables the production of a diverse range of aquatic species, including fish, shrimp, mollusks, and seaweed. This versatility in species selection caters to the diverse demands of global markets and contributes to the segment's substantial size.



Note: Information in the above chart consists of dummy data and is only shown here for representation purpose. Kindly contact us for the actual market size and trends.

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Breakup by Product:

  • Red
  • Brown
  • Green

Red seaweed holds the largest share in the market

A detailed breakup and analysis of the market based on the product has also been provided in the report. This includes red, brown, and green. According to the report, red seaweed accounted for the largest market share.

The red seaweed has a wide range of applications across various industries. It is commonly used as a food ingredient, particularly in Asian cuisines, where it is utilized in sushi, soups, salads, and snacks. The unique texture, flavor, and nutritional benefits of red seaweed make it a sought-after ingredient in the culinary world. Additionally, red seaweed is extensively utilized in the extraction of carrageenan, a natural polysaccharide with gelling and stabilizing properties. Carrageenan finds applications in a wide array of products, including dairy, confectionery, personal care items, and pharmaceuticals. Its ability to enhance texture, improve stability, and provide a smooth mouthfeel has made carrageenan derived from red seaweed a preferred choice for manufacturers. Furthermore, red seaweed contains high levels of pigments such as phycoerythrins and phycocyanins, which are valuable in the production of natural colorants. These colorants are used in the food, cosmetic, and textile industries as alternatives to synthetic dyes, catering to the growing demand for natural and sustainable products.

Breakup by Application:

  • Processed Foods
  • Direct Human Consumption
  • Hydrocolloids
  • Fertilizers
  • Animal Feed Additives
  • Others

The report has provided a detailed breakup and analysis of the market based on the application. This includes processed foods, direct human consumption, hydrocolloids, fertilizers, animal feed additives, and others.

The market for seaweed-based processed foods includes various products such as snacks, seasonings, condiments, and sushi ingredients. Seaweed is valued for its unique flavor, nutritional profile, and versatility in culinary applications, making it a popular choice among consumers seeking healthy and sustainable food options.

Seaweed is consumed directly as a food source, particularly in countries with a strong cultural tradition of seaweed consumption. It is used in salads, soups, side dishes, and as a standalone ingredient. The increasing awareness of the nutritional benefits of seaweed has led to its growing popularity as a nutritious and low-calorie food option.

Seaweed-derived hydrocolloids, such as carrageenan, alginate, and agar, find applications in various industries. These hydrocolloids are used as thickeners, stabilizers, emulsifiers, and gelling agents in food and beverage products, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and other industrial applications. Their unique properties contribute to improved texture, stability, and sensory attributes of the end products.

Seaweed is utilized as a natural and organic fertilizer due to its rich content of essential nutrients and growth-promoting compounds. Seaweed extracts or formulations are used in agriculture, horticulture, and landscaping to enhance plant growth, improve soil health, and increase crop yields. The eco-friendly nature of seaweed fertilizers aligns with the growing demand for sustainable agricultural practices and organic food production.

Breakup by Region:



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  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Indonesia
    • Philippines
    • South Korea
    • Malaysia
    • Vietnam
    • Others
  • North America
    • United States
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Russia
    • Others
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Argentina
    • Chile
    • Peru
    • Others
  • Middle East and Africa
    • Saudi Arabia
    • United Arab Emirates
    • South Africa
    • Others

Asia Pacific exhibits a clear dominance in the market

The report has also provided a comprehensive analysis of all the major regional markets, which include North America (the United States and Canada); Europe (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Russia, and others); Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, and others); Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and others); and the Middle East and Africa(Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, and Others). According to the report, Asia Pacific was the largest market for seaweed.

Asia Pacific as a long history of seaweed consumption, deeply rooted in its culinary traditions. Countries, such as China, Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia, have a strong cultural affinity for seaweed as a food source, leading to high demand and consumption rates. Additionally, the region's vast coastline provides favorable conditions for seaweed cultivation. The availability of suitable marine environments, including nutrient-rich waters and appropriate temperatures, supports the growth of various seaweed species. This favorable natural environment enables Asia Pacific countries to cultivate and harvest large quantities of seaweed, ensuring a consistent supply for both domestic consumption and export markets. Furthermore, the expanding industrial applications of seaweed in Asia Pacific contribute to its market dominance. The region is a major producer of seaweed-derived hydrocolloids, such as carrageenan, agar, and alginate, which are widely used in the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries worldwide. This strong production base, combined with the region's growing processing capabilities, further strengthens the market position of Asia Pacific in the industry.

Competitive Landscape:

Many major players are expanding their seaweed cultivation and processing capabilities to meet the increasing demand. This involves establishing new farms or partnering with local farmers to ensure a consistent supply of raw materials. Additionally, investments are being made to enhance processing infrastructure and technology to improve efficiency and quality. Additionally, key players are focusing on product innovation, such as the development of seaweed snacks, ready-to-eat meals, and functional food ingredients. Companies are also exploring applications in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and biofuels to diversify their product portfolios. Besides this, collaboration and partnerships are common strategies in the market. For instance, key players are forming strategic alliances with research institutions, universities, and seaweed farmers to enhance knowledge exchange, research and development efforts, and sustainable cultivation practices. Partnerships with distribution networks and retailers are also pursued to expand market reach and ensure efficient supply chains. Other than this, key players are actively expanding their presence in emerging markets, particularly in Asia Pacific and Europe, which are experiencing significant growth in seaweed consumption. This involves setting up local subsidiaries, distribution networks, and production facilities to cater to regional demand and establish a strong market presence.

The report has provided a comprehensive analysis of the competitive landscape in the market. Detailed profiles of all major companies have also been provided. Some of the key players in the market include:

  • Acadian Seaplants Limited
  • Cargill Incorporated
  • DuPont de Nemours Inc.
  • Irish Seaweeds
  • Leili
  • Mara Seaweeds
  • Qingdao Gather Great Ocean Algae Industry Group (GGOG)

Recent Developments:

  • Acadian Seaplants Limited pioneered land-based seaweed cultivation. This approach provided greater control over growing conditions, reduced dependence on wild harvesting, and ensured a consistent supply of high-quality seaweed.

  • Cargill Incorporated introduced a seaweed powder, named WavePure ADG 8250. It is produced from the common European component Gracilaria red seaweed.

Seaweed Market Report Scope:

Report Features Details
Base Year of the Analysis 2023
Historical Period 2018-2023
Forecast Period 2024-2032
Units US$ Billion, Million Tons
Scope of the Report Exploration of Historical and Forecast Trends, Industry Catalysts and Challenges, Segment-Wise Historical and Predictive Market Assessment:
  • Environment
  • Product
  • Application
  • Region
Environments Covered Aquaculture, Wild Harvest
Products Covered Red, Brown, Green
Applications Covered Processed Food, Direct Human Consumption, Hydrocolloids, Fertilizers, Animal Feed Fertilizers, Others
Regions Covered Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East and Africa
Countries Covered China, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, United States, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, South Africa
Companies Covered Acadian Seaplants Limited, Cargill Incorporated, DuPont de Nemours, Inc., Irish Seaweeds, Leili, Mara Seaweeds and Qingdao Gather Great Ocean Algae Industry Group (GGOG)
Customization Scope 10% Free Customization
Report Price and Purchase Option Single User License: US$ 2499
Five User License: US$ 3499
Corporate License: US$ 4499
Post-Sale Analyst Support 10-12 Weeks
Delivery Format PDF and Excel through Email (We can also provide the editable version of the report in PPT/Word format on special request)

Key Benefits for Stakeholders:

  • IMARC’s report offers a comprehensive quantitative analysis of various market segments, historical and current market trends, market forecasts, and dynamics of the seaweed market from 2018-2032.
  • The research study provides the latest information on the market drivers, challenges, and opportunities in the global seaweed market.
  • The study maps the leading, as well as the fastest-growing, regional markets. It further enables stakeholders to identify the key country-level markets within each region.
  • Porter's five forces analysis assist stakeholders in assessing the impact of new entrants, competitive rivalry, supplier power, buyer power, and the threat of substitution. It helps stakeholders to analyze the level of competition within the seaweed industry and its attractiveness.
  • Competitive landscape allows stakeholders to understand their competitive environment and provides an insight into the current positions of key players in the market.

Key Questions Answered in This Report

The global seaweed market was valued at US$ 8.3 Billion in 2023.

We expect the global seaweed market to exhibit a CAGR of 8.6% during 2024-2032.

The rising demand for seaweed in dietary supplements, owing to its nutritive content, flavor-enhancing, and weight loss properties, is primarily catalyzing the global seaweed market.

The sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the changing consumer inclination from conventional brick-and-mortar distribution channels towards online retail platforms for the purchase of seaweed.

Based on the environment, the global seaweed market has been bifurcated into aquaculture and wild harvest. Currently, aquaculture holds the majority of the total market share.

Based on the product, the global seaweed market can be segmented into red, brown, and green. Among these, red seaweed exhibits a clear dominance in the market.

On a regional level, the market has been classified into Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa, where Asia Pacific currently dominates the global market.

Some of the major players in the global seaweed market include Acadian Seaplants Limited, Cargill Incorporated, DuPont de Nemours, Inc., Irish Seaweeds, Leili, Mara Seaweeds, Qingdao Gather Great Ocean Algae Industry Group (GGOG), etc.

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Seaweed Market Report by Environment (Aquaculture, Wild Harvest), Product (Red, Brown, Green), Application (Processed Foods, Direct Human Consumption, Hydrocolloids, Fertilizers, Animal Feed Additives, and Others), and Region 2024-2032
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