In recent years, the popularity of food products that strengthen the immune system to increase its control over pathogens has increased significantly. The demand for fruits & vegetables, beverages, nuts, seeds, dairy products, supplements, and other nutritional edibles/drinks in all forms and packages has increased. Consumer preference for organic foods free from additives/preservatives is rising. Furthermore, well-being has become a global movement, as consumers seek to live healthy lives for as long as possible, particularly due to increasing lifespans. Industrialization, urbanization, economic development, and globalization have driven rapid changes in diets and lifestyles over the last decade. These factors have significantly impacted the health & nutritional choices of consumers, particularly in developing countries.
In addition, the all-natural & clean-label trends in the functional foods market have boosted the demand for natural ingredients, such as plant-based proteins. The growing consumer preference for healthy food options presents opportunities for microalgae to be incorporated into organic, GMO-free, and additive-free food products.
Since microalgae are high in protein and other essential nutrients, such as antioxidants, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, consumers’ changing food preferences and increasing health consciousness are expected to positively impact the growth of the microalgae market. Spirulina is one such ingredient that has emerged as a trend due to its health benefits. It is widely used as a food supplement for all age groups. It contains a combination of nutrients. Many people use spirulina as a self-care strategy for more energy, nutritional insurance, weight control, and cleansing. Additionally, natural algae astaxanthin is almost exclusively used in human food and dietary supplements.
Besides its use as a food supplement in ameliorating nutritional deficiencies, spirulina is gaining more attention from medical scientists as a nutraceutical. It was also successfully used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a dietary supplement for astronauts on space missions, as it can improve immunity and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Furthermore, dietary supplements (DSs), such as vitamins, minerals, and nutritional & herbal supplements (VMHS), have been increasing steadily, particularly since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Glanbia Nutritionals (2021), Europe dietary supplement sales reached 16.6 billion in 2020 and are expected to increase at a CAGR of 4–5% through 2025. Factors such as the rising aging population, growing consumer awareness regarding preventive healthcare, an increasing number of self-directed consumers (self-diagnosis over health practitioner diagnosis), channel proliferation (variety of marketing techniques and eCommerce platforms), and the shift from ingredient-focused messaging to broader brand positioning (grouping of supplements together to form a healthy benefits package) are supporting the growth of the supplements industry in Europe. Thus, consumer inclination toward health & wellness trends and the growing dietary supplements industry drives the growth of the Europe microalgae market.
In terms of value, the Europe Microalgae Market is expected to reach $491.9 million by 2030, at a CAGR of 9.3% during 2023–2030. In terms of volume, the Europe microalgae market is expected to reach 25,465.0 tons by 2030, at a CAGR of 8.3% during the forecast period 2023–2030, according to the latest publication of Meticulous Research®.
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