The global seaweed protein market revenue is set to reach $1397.7 million by 2030, advancing at a CAGR of 11.8% during the forecast period. This can be ascribed to the increasing demand for alternate sources of protein and various applications of seaweeds, such as Oriental cuisine and micronutrient supplements.
Additionally, the rising demand for Halal products and widening applications of seaweeds in various non-food industries, such as pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetic, animal feed, biofertilizer/bio-stimulants, bio-packaging, textile fibers, carbon capture or sequestration, and biofuels, hint at a promising future for the industry.
Traditional seaweed protein extraction method is expected to hold the larger market share during the forecast period owing to the fact that compared to other approaches, the classic alkaline extraction process yields more proteins. But, this traditional method of protein extraction takes a long time and uses a lot of solvents, and the extraction effectiveness is low. Extensive research has revealed that the method that gives the maximum extraction yield is enzymatic pre-treatment with a combination of polysaccharides, followed by alkaline extraction.
In 2021, China held the largest market share, which is about 40%, in the APAC region. This is attributed to the fact that China is a major producer and exporter of semi-processed and processed seaweed. Moreover, the People’s Republic has surpassed the U.S. as the leading importer of edible and non-edible seaweed for processing. Following China, the Philippines is the second-largest exporter of semi-processed and processed carrageenan. Carrageenan exports from the Philippines have surged by more than 40% in the last 10 years.
Furthermore, the emerging uses of seaweeds in non-food applications, such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and animal feed additives, are fueling the seaweed protein market growth in this country.
Moreover, the government of various other regional countries is promoting the cultivation and usage of seaweed. For instance, the Government of Indonesia has prioritized seaweeds in the country's development plan. Various programs have been launched to educate people about improved farming techniques, with the aim to enhance the livelihoods of coastal communities.
Some of the major players operating and investing in the global seaweed protein market are CP Calco US Inc., Algaia, Valagro Group, Qingdao Gather Great Ocean Algae Industry Group Co. Ltd., Qingdao Brightmoon Seaweed Company Group Company Limited, Kargil Incorporated, Gelymar S.A, Compañia Española de Algas Marinas (CEAMSA), Irish Seaweeds, and Beijing Leili Agricultural Co, Ltd.