Carrageenan Market Growth Scenario, Industry Size, Share Analysis, Trends, Competitive Analysis and Global Forecasts to 2028


The global Carrageenan market size is expected to be worth around US$ 1.20 billion by 2028, according to a new report by Vision Research Reports.

The global Carrageenan market size was valued at US$ 741.10 million in 2020 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 5.11% during forecast period 2021 to 2028.

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Carrageenan Market Size, Share, Trends, Growth, Production, Consumption, Revenue, Company Analysis and Forecast 2021-2028 – Breakdown Data by Regions, Type, Manufacturers and Applications

Growth Factors

Carrageenan creates a fatty mouthfeel in food products, thus finds application in the production of vegetable-based dairy alternatives, low-fat cottage cheese, and low-fat cream, among others. The growth of the food and beverage sector, in line with the increasing population and changing consumer eating habits, is expected to fuel industry growth.

Rising product penetration in pharmaceuticals, oil drilling, nutraceuticals, textile printing, cosmetics, and paper treatment industry is expected to boost the market growth. In the pharmaceutical industry, the product acts as a vegan thickening agent and an inactive excipient for tablet manufacturing. In industrial application, this gelling agent finds application in paper and fabric marbling.

Europe and North America emerged as the major markets for Carrageenan, together accounting for over 50.0% share of the global revenue in 2019. The embracing of healthier lifestyles by a large portion of the population and growing preference for healthy foods are likely to contribute to market growth. Growing demand for plant-based food ingredients in these markets is expected to support market growth.

Report Highlights

Thickener led the market and accounted for a 39.9% share of the global revenue in 2020. 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.

Gelling agent is expected to expand at a revenue-based CAGR of 6.02% 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.

The food and beverage application segment held the largest revenue share of 72.7% in 2020. 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 81.3 million in 2020. 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.

Kappa carrageenan held the largest revenue share of 67.9% in 2020 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.

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.

Europe held the largest revenue share of 31.03% in 2020. 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 2020, 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 Players

  • 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.

Market Segmentation

  • Product Outlook
    • Kappa
    • Iota
    • Lambda
  • Function Outlook
    • Thickener
    • Gelling Agent
    • Stabilizer
    • Other
  • Application Outlook
    • Food & Beverage
      • Bakery
      • Confectionery
      • Sauces & Dressings
      • Dairy Products
      • Meat Products
      • Beverages
      • Others
    • Pharmaceutical
    • Personal Care & Cosmetics
    • Others
  • Regional Outlook
    • 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

The study objectives of this report are:

  • To analyze and study the global market capacity, production, value, consumption, status (2017-2020) and forecast (2021-2028);
  • Focuses on the key manufacturers, to study the capacity, production, value, market share and development plans in future.
  • Comprehensive company profiles covering the product offerings, key financial information, recent developments, SWOT analysis, and strategies employed by the major market players
  • To define, describe and forecast the market by type, application and region.
  • To analyze the global and key regions market potential and advantage, opportunity and challenge, restraints and risks.
  • To identify significant trends and factors driving or inhibiting the market growth.
  • To analyze the opportunities in the market for stakeholders by identifying the high growth segments.
  • To strategically analyze each submarket with respect to individual growth trend and their contribution to the market
  • To analyze competitive developments such as expansions, agreements, new product launches, and acquisitions in the market
  • To strategically profile the key players and comprehensively analyze their growth strategies.

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