Seaweed market boosted by NPD surge

Seaweed: Mintel claims it could become the next ‘superfood’

Food and drink product launches with seaweed flavours, including kombu, nori, and wakame, grew by 147% in Europe between 2011 and 2015, according to latest figures.

Europe is now the second most innovative region globally when it comes to seaweed-flavoured food and drink launches, Mintel has claimed.

Asia Pacific region

While the majority of seaweed-flavoured products are currently launched in the Asia Pacific region, accounting for 88% of global product launches between 2011 and 2015, Europe launched 7% of seaweed-flavoured foods and drinks globally in this time, outpacing both North America (4%) and Latin America (1%).

“Seaweed has been a famous delicacy in many Asian countries for centuries, celebrated for its flavour and nourishing powers,” said Stephanie Mattucci, global food science analyst at Mintel.

‘The next superfood’

“While still somewhat niche in Europe, we believe that seaweed could become the next superfood. Due to its abundance in natural vitamins, minerals, and plant-based protein, seaweed speaks to the growing quest for naturally functional foods and alternative protein sources in the west.”

According to Mintel, 36% of UK consumers who use herbs, spices or seasonings agree that ground, dried seaweed would be a good alternative to salt for flavouring meals or dishes.

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