The global alginate market size was valued at USD 770 million in 2021 and is predicted to increase at a CAGR of 5.02% to reach USD 1,195 million by 2030 during the forecast period (2022–2030).
Alginate is a polysaccharide obtained from brown algae that occurs naturally. Sodium, calcium, and potassium alginate, which can entangle with water to produce a viscous gum, are available commercially in flagellated and granular forms. Consequently, alginate is extensively used to stiffen food products like jellies, jams, ice creams, marmalades, frozen desserts, chocolates, and instant noodles. Textile, paper, and pulp handling are among its many applications. Alginate has more excellent biocompatibility, cost-effectiveness, and lower toxicity than other commonly used thickening substances.
The global alginate market is anticipated to witness significant growth in light of increasing demand for the product in the manufacture of food products such as ice-cream yogurt and bakery products. Additionally, the use of alginates in the food & beverage industry is permitted by major regulatory agencies, including FDA and the European Commission, which drives its demand.
Alginate is used predominantly in the food industry as an emulsifier, a thickening agent, and a gelling agent. The high demand for alginate in the food industry is primarily due to its increased acceptance, driven by naturally existing raw materials for its production. The product finds application in the production of sauces, bakery products, and confectionery items. In light of increased domestic consumption, the food and beverage industry growth in BRICS and the Middle East is anticipated to act as a critical driver for the transition.
On account of rising consumer awareness regarding products with exotic and traditional tastes, the increasing need for convenience foods is expected further to promote alginate market growth in the coming years. The rising number of bakeries in Europe, on account of changing consumer eating habits, is expected to drive the demand for emulsifiers such as alginate, which are considered fit for human consumption. The increasing number of product-specific bakeries is also projected to result in emulsifying companies producing substances that provide optimum results to the final product.
Lack of time and rising consumer purchasing power have fueled demand for packaged goods, which is likely to continue during the projection period. For example, McCain, ConAgra, and Unilever have strengthened their global reach by making their products widely available in local retail stores and hypermarkets. Combined, these factors are projected to drive packaged food demand, positively impacting the market in the following years. and for packaged food in the coming years, thereby affecting the market positively
The harvesting of seaweed has significant environmental and economic impacts on account of unsustainable production techniques. Seaweed harvests, primarily from wild stocks, are affected by climatic changes and overexploitation. For example, in Northern Ireland, one of the significant harvesters of seaweed, unsustainable harvesting techniques in areas of conservation importance were found to disturb the wildlife. This led to an increased demand for sustained harvesting techniques, thus leading to a decline in the volume of seaweed produced. The market in China is also likely to be impacted by the growing concerns regarding environmental imbalance caused due to excessive harvesting.
The market production of seaweed is also impacted significantly by the weather conditions of the significant harvesting economies. The production volume is also affected by weather disturbances such as El Nino. Seaweed harvest volume in the Philippines registered a decline in 2016 due to elevated water temperature caused primarily by El Nino. The high dependence of the alginates market on seaweed production is likely to result in the restrained market growth over the forecast period.
An increase in the production of seaweeds from aquaculture has given rise to concerns regarding environmental degradation. High demand for seaweed by manufacturers involved in the production of carrageenan, agar-agar, and alginate leads to increased harvesting of seaweed, which causes an ecological imbalance. Concerns regarding the negative impact of unsustainable farming are also projected to result in limited growth of seaweed, which is, in turn, anticipated to lead to higher pressure on the alginate market in the coming years.
Alginate is used as an emulsion stabilizer, thickening agent, disintegrant, and film-forming agent for tablets in the pharmaceutical industry. The rising demand for alginate in the coating of tablets is expected to fuel product demand over the forecast period. In compounded medicines, sodium alginate acts as a capsule disintegrant and stabilizing, suspending, emulsifying, gel-forming, and viscosity-increasing agent. The product is an FDA-approved natural polymer and is gaining high significance in drug manufacturing because of its low or nontoxic nature, biocompatibility, and biodegradability.
Due to advances in science and technology, the pharmaceutical business has been growing in
recent years. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years, particularly in developing countries like China, India, and Brazil. In the global pharmaceutical market, these economies have huge market potential. BRICMT countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China, Mexico, and Turkey, and the second-tier countries in Southeast Asia and Africa have shown strong economic growth in the past few years. These countries are transforming into markets comparable in size and nature to their mature Western counterparts. At the same time, these economies are also becoming increasingly stable, making them even more attractive for multinational companies to set up their production facilities and invest here. The rise in pharmaceutical exports from these countries is expected to boost the consumption of alginate products over the forecast period.
The global alginate market share is segmented by product, type, application, and region.
By product, the global alginate market is divided into sodium alginate, calcium alginate, potassium alginate, propylene glycol alginate, and others. The sodium alginate segment is the most significant product type in terms of volume, occupying over 41.4% of the industry share. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 640 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 5.5%. An increase in the demand for sodium alginate in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical industries, and textile industry as an active dyestuff is expected to drive market growth over the forecast period.
Sodium alginate also finds extensive use as a sizing agent in the paper industry, though the consumption volume of the product is comparatively lower. The product is widely used as a thickening and gelling agent in the food industry. Sodium alginate is used in the food business to make sauces, dressings, whipped cream, and jellies, among other things. Due to superior physicochemical and biocompatible properties, the use of sodium alginate in tissue engineering, drug formulations, and clinical wound treatment is expected to drive market growth. In addition, the production of advanced sodium alginate-based solutions in the pharmaceutical industry, such as gel matrix tablets, to facilitate targeted intestinal absorption is likely to drive market growth.
By type, the global alginate market is divided into High M and High G. High G dominates the market and is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 390 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 5%. High G alginates are products that are rich in guluronic acid blocks. These products use various applications, including food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. High G-type alginates exhibit a buckled chain structure and slower gel formation than high M-type alginates.
The composition of high G and high M blocks in alginate-based medical dressing varies depending on the manufacturers. Consumers in the food and beverage have exhibited a higher demand for high G alginate due to the superior gelling performance of the product. A higher concentration of G blocks in the product leads to increased product flexibility, which is one of the desired factors for its application in the pharmaceutical industry and is expected to boost market growth.
By application, the global alginate market is divided into food, pharmaceutical, industrial, and others. In terms of revenue, the food application segment dominates the market and is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 410 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 5%. The food industry is likely to witness high growth over the next eight years due to rising disposable income and high food consumption coupled with the increase in the global population.
In addition, the growing adoption of naturally sourced products such as alginate, as an ingredient in food, due to heightened health-related concerns is likely to emerge as the primary driver for the growth of the alginate market. Because of its improved product stability and efficacy throughout a wide temperature range, ester alginate of propylene glycol is expected to see increased demand worldwide as a thickening agent, stabilizer, and flavoring adjuvant.
Due to documented lockdowns in key economies, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has significantly impacted global industrial production. This has harmed the production, manufacturing, and transportation of various items worldwide. The food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries, on the other hand, are untouched. Since January 2020, global demand for food, beverages, and pharmaceuticals has increased, increasing overall output.
The demand for packaged food and processed eatables has increased as the lockdowns have prohibited the eateries and restaurants from serving on their premises. Moreover, the need for medicines across the globe has witnessed an upward trend in recent times owing to preventive measures by the end consumers to stay fit and boost the immunity system. Thus, positively affecting the demand for alginate products.
Significant markets for packaged food, bakery items, processed food, and frozen food are concentrated in North America and European countries. Furthermore, these countries have observed coronavirus outbursts in most economies, including the US, Italy, Spain, France, the UK, and others. Thereby restricting the operations of food joints and restaurants, thus, slowing down the demand for alginates.
The logistic operations across the major geographies have been temporarily suspended because of trade restrictions in the international markets, thus hampering the supply channel. On the other extreme, the manufacturing industry is getting back on track, with enterprises resuming operations, which is likely to support product demand.
By region, the global alginate market share is divided into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Central and South America, and the Middle East and Africa.
The Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing regional segment, occupying over 30.1% of the revenue share in 2021. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 405 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 6.5%. Numerous manufacturers characterize the market for alginates in the Asia Pacific. A significant share of the alginates manufactured in the region is accounted for by producers located in China and Japan. A large population base in the region leads to a robust pharmaceutical and healthcare sector. Over the next decade, the market is predicted to be driven by the rising application spectrum of alginate in various end-use industries and fast industrialization in Asian nations such as China, India, and Thailand. In addition, the presence of several paper manufacturers in the region is likely to drive the market due to the product's wide use in paper sizing applications.
North America is the second-largest market. It is estimated to reach an expected value of 275 USD million by 2030 at a CAGR of 4.5%. The increasing expenditure on Research and Development in the pharmaceutical industry in Europe is expected to fuel the demand for alginate over the forecast period because of its substantial use in the segment. The rising consumer demand for food products such as chicken and meat nuggets, ice cream, and yogurt in the region is estimated to bolster the need for alginate over the forecast period. The North America alginates market is primarily driven by the high consumer affinity toward products containing naturally sourced ingredients. In addition, the region's large population and its increased spending abilities are likely to cause the market over the forecast period.
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