The South American agar market is anticipated to record a CAGR of 2.8% during the forecast period (2020-2025).
- The market is witnessing rapid growth, owing to the wide range of applications it offers due to the gelling and thickening properties. It is majorly used in food and beverage processing, such as bakery, confectionery, meat and poultry preserving, and others. In addition, its preference in over other polysaccharides in the food and beverage manufacturing, especially the sugary food products, due to the high compatibility of agar gum in a sugary environment, in order to provide a stable structure to concentrated sugary system, is fueling the market growth.
- Furthermore, pharmaceutical and microbiological application segments are also estimated to witness an increase in demand for agar-agar gum, as a laxative agent, and culturing media for microorganisms.
- However, the limited production and supply of agar across the region is expected to curb the market growth of agar.
Key Market Trends
Rising Demand For Vegan Food Ingredients
As there has been significant growth in the people shifting toward veganism across the region, vegan products are on the high rise. Agar, that is considered as a vegetarian alternative to gelatin, has witnessed a significant rise in its demand, as vegans do not use gelatin because it is made from animal bones, skin, and connective tissue. It is used mostly in food products, such as puddings, desserts, jelly candy, soups, sauces, and more. Also, frequent launches of new vegan beverages, such as vegan wine and others.
Brazil Continue to Dominate the Regional Market
In South America, Brazil holds a significant share in the agar market. This is primarily due to the rising production of agar on the coasts of Brazil. In Brazil, the exploitation of seaweeds for agar production occurs mainly in the northeastern part of the country. Gracilaria of different species is generally harvested in Brazil, mostly in warm waters, that produces a less resistant agar (agarose) to enzymatic hydrolysis. In addition, companies dominating the Brazilian market are highly focused on research and development, which is helping to leverage the emerging opportunities in the forecast period. Also, strategic agreements of domestic players with international distributors to expand its distribution of products in Brazil, such as Agarmex, are thus boosting the Brazilian market.
The South America agar market is competitive and fragmented in nature, owing to the presence of many regional and domestic players. Emphasis is given on the merger, expansion, acquisition, and partnership of the companies along with new product development as strategic approaches adopted by the leading companies to boost their brand presence among consumers. Key players dominating the South American market include Agargel, Setexam, TIC Gums Inc., and Meron, among others.
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