Seaweed may create a better-for-you pasta

Dive Brief:

  • Seaweed masquerading as pasta is becoming very popular for consumers looking for a low-carb alternative to their normal pasta, according to Mintel.
  • Sea spaghetti sales have grown in Europe, especially among a rising health-conscious shopper base. 
  • The Mintel Global New Product Database revealed gluten-free products represented 15% of all pasta launches in 2016.

Dive Insight:

The idea of using seaweed as a pasta of choice may be offputting to some people — especially baby boomers and older consumers — but as more people become more concerned about what they’re putting in their bodies, seaweed as an ingredient is becoming a major factor in food dishes.

A search through social media recipes yields plenty of unique pasta offerings, with everything from pasta made out of pumpkin to asparagus to pepper making the rounds. Millennials especially seem to be up for something new, and seaweed doesn’t seem to scare them away — despite any ick factor that might exist.

Seaweed spaghetti is said to have an uncanny physical and textural resemblance to the more common flour-based variety. Manufacturers like I Sea Pasta from Seamore Foods, Atlantic Kitchen, Wild Irish Seaweeds and Mara Seaweed are all benefiting from the craze.

Seaweed is known to have many health benefits. It contains nutrients such as vitamin B12, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid. It’s also low in calories.

Benefits like these are why the commercial seaweed market is projected to reach $17.59 billion by 2021 at a CAGR of 9.17% from 2016 to 2021.

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Filed Under: Ingredients
Top image credit: aitoff