What is the market-size for sea vegetables in the United States?
The sea vegetable market forms an important part of the aquaculture market as a whole in the United States. The largest portion of the domestic production of sea vegetables is focused in Maine, however most sea vegetables in the US actually come in the form of dried products imported from Asia.
Sea Vegetables are classed as a part of the organic food market as a whole in the US, albeit a very small part—about one one-hundredth of one percent, to be precise. Now, the organic food market as a whole is worth a whopping $30 billion in the US, and this will allow us to calculate the rough size of the sea vegetable market, because one one-hundredth of one percent of $30 billion is $3,000,000, which is the approximate value of the sea vegetable market in the United States.
Growth and potential
Unfortunately, no figures are available specifically about the growth rate of the sea vegetable market in the US, however figures are available for the largest component of the sea vegetable market here - seaweed! Forecasting firm Technavio estimates the growth of the seaweed market globally to be about 10.28%. National figures are not available. We were also able to find that the aquaculture market in the US is growing at a rate of 1.8% per year. However, this market also includes a range of other segments including food fish, sport fish, bait fish, ornamental fish, crustaceans, mollusks, algae, research animals, and fish eggs. Therefore, it is not possible to assume that growth rates for the sea vegetable market and for the overall aquaculture market are roughly similar.
According to Technavio, the key distributors of sea vegetables globally are Cargill, Dupont, Groupe Rollier, Irish Seaweeds, and Qingdao Gather Great Ocean Algae Industry Group (GGOG). While they are all global companies, each of these distributors sells in the United States, or operates a branch which does. Moreover, Dupont and Cargill are both actually based in the United States, headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware and Minnetonka, Minnesota respectively.
Other major distributors of sea vegetables are Annie Chun's, Chase Organics, GimMe Health Foods (based in CA), Maine Coast Sea Vegetables (based in ME), Mara Seaweed, Ocean Harvest Technology, Seagreens, SeaSnax, Seasol, and This is Seaweed.
The overall market size for sea vegetables in the United States is about $3,000,000, based on the fact that it is estimated to be 1/100th of 1% the size of the overall organic food market, which is valued at $30 billion. The biggest part of the sea vegetable industry is seaweed, a market which is growing at 10.28% globally, and sea vegetables are considered part of the broader aquaculture market, which in the US is growing at 1.8%. Globally, the biggest sea vegetable distributors are Cargill, Dupont, Groupe Rollier, Irish Seaweeds, and Qingdao Gather Great Ocean Algae Industry Group (GGOG), all of which sell in the United States, and two of which are based in the US.