Agar Gaining Traction in the Global Food and Beverage Industry

Published On : 2016-11-18

Agar-agar, commonly known as agar, is a jelly-like food ingredient obtained from polysaccharide agarose. However, agar hasn’t been certified as an organic food ingredient as it is not derived from farmed plants. It is derived from algae of seaweeds available in coastal regions of Chile, Morocco, Spain, Portugal and the Atlantic coast of Canada. Being termed as a synthetic ingredient, there is a seeming hesitation among consumers willing to try out new and health food products.

Following the global preference for eating fresh and healthy foods, consumption of food products that use agar as a gelling agent has witnessed a substantial increase. Being the most recent addition to jelly-like food products, agar has also become a latest fad among food enthusiasts who indulge in puddings and custard desserts at the end of their meal.

Delicacies made from agar are gradually gaining popularity in several regional markets. The expanse of global agar market is protracting as an unknown yet tempting commodity in the food and beverages industry. Currently, Western Europe has shown a promising growth in terms of consumption of agar food products. In 2015, volumes surpassing three thousand tonnes are estimated to have been consumed in this region. Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) is next in line for being a favourable region for growth of agar market.

Such a successive regional acceptance of agar food products is one of the pivotal growth factors for global agar market. By the end of 2026, global value for agar market will increase at a 2.6% CAGR and surpass US$ 357,091 in revenues. Agarmex, Agarindo Bogatama, and Acroyali Holdings Qingdao Co. Ltd are a part of the leading companies identified as a key players investing capital and ushering advancements towards a global growth of the agar market.

Increasing Consumer Preference for Agar Food Products

Even though these figures do not indicate a massive boom in the global agar market, changing consumer preference is an encouraging sign that consumption of agar will grow in prominence in the near future. As more consumers become aware of the benefits of consuming food products with agar, demand is expected to pick up steadily in the future.

Restaurants in many affluent European countries have modified their menus to promote culinary forms of agar as an alternative to custard puddings. As a food product, agar is also termed as a gelatin counterpart of a naturally-growing vegetable (Gelidium seaweed). Japanese cuisine anmitsu is one such dessert delicacy derived from agar. It is predicted that growing consumer trend will soon catch up on agar’s acceptability as a genuine food product. Accounting to such a trending growth, the global agar market is likely to expand further with respect to applications of agar in microbiology, dentistry, electrochemistry and packaging systems.

Applications of agar in industries beyond F&B will have a positive impact on the global agar market. But, in the long run, demand for agar from the food and beverage sector will account for the bulk of the revenues. Consumers exploring new food products are expected to grow fond of agar’s natural and healthy composition. The expansion of global market for agar food product will be dependent on its culinary usage and availability in non-coastal regions of the world.