According to a recent Persistence Market Research report, the global microalgae market is set to record an average expansion between the forecast period 2017 and 2026. Over US$ 75 Mn revenues are estimated to be procured from sales of microalgae across the globe.
Future Prospects of Microalgae to Remain Positive with its Robust Adoption in Agri-food
Main products obtained from microalgae, dried algae in particular, are nutrient-rich and engulf high-value compounds that include pigments, fatty acids, and anti-oxidants. Economic opportunities for nutrients derived from microalgae have been deemed to be comparatively smaller than those derived from other commodity crops. However, future prospects of microalgae-derived nutrients are anticipated to be positive, provided with scientific & technological developments coupled with robust adoption of microalgae in the global market for agri-food. On the other hand, challenges such as complex regulations pertaining to incorporation of microalgae in food, low consumer awareness, and climatic conditions are likely to constrain adoption of microalgae in the foreseeable future.
Cost of microalgae persists to be high compared to oil crops or woody biomass, which can be mainly attributed to cultivation energy consumption. Several researchers across the globe have therefore been examining and exploring cultivation practices adopted for microalgae with an aim of curtailing operation costs and energy consumption. Research activities at national and international level have resulted into the development of new strategies and technologies that are contributing well to cost-reduction and pushing the microalgae sector toward the industrial development at a global level.
Hypermarket to Remain Dominant Sales Channel for Microalgae
Hypermarket/supermarket will continue to be the dominant sales channel for microalgae, with revenues projected to hold more than 45% market share during 2017 to 2026. However, sales of microalgae in this sales channel segment will register a relatively slower expansion, owing to robust sales growth in retail stores and online stores through 2026. Retail stores and online stores will collectively account for over half market revenue share by 2026-end.
On the basis of application, food and feed industry will continue to spearhead the global market for microalgae, in terms of revenues. Pharmaceutical industry will also prevail as a major revenue contributing application segment in the market. Between chemical industry and cosmetics industry, the former will hold a slightly greater market revenue share, whereas latter will exhibit a comparatively faster expansion through 2026.
Spirulina and Chlorella to Remain Leading Product Type Segments
Based on product type, spirulina and chlorella are expected to lead the global microalgae market during the forecast period, in terms of revenues. These two product segments are likely to account for over 80% market revenue share throughout the forecast period. Dunaliella salina will prevail as the least lucrative product in the market.
The market for microalgae will witness the fastest expansion in North America through 2026. In terms of revenues, North America will endure as the largest market for microalgae, followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ). Revenues from microalgae sales in Europe and APEJ will record a modest increase through 2026.
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Microalgae harvesting entails several technical limitations for new market entrants in terms of investment cost and energy demand, which in turn has necessitated the development of affordable and efficient technologies. With growing emphasis on reducing operation costs & energy consumption and help small and medium-sized enterprises to capitalize on untapped markets for expanding their businesses, cost-effective technologies are being integrated with SME microalgae extraction and harvesting systems. Key companies that are actively contributing to growth of the global microalgae market include Taau Australia Pty Ltd., Algae.Tec Limited, Fuqing King Dnarmsa Spirulina Co. Ltd, Cellana, LLC, E.I.D.- Parry (India) Limited, TerraVia Holdings, Inc., DIC Corporation, and Cyanotech Corporation.