In early 2000, popularity of products that contain seaweed increased especially in South East Asia, after some snack companies in Asia started to produce Seaweed snacks with a new shape, seaweed laver snack. At that time some companies that produce seaweed laver snacks were from Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, China and Thailand. Couples years before that seaweed were only used as part of seasoning to some food products; instant noodles, snacks, and a complement for rice culinary (to make onigiri, kimbap). Now there are new variants of seaweed products as a ready to eat snack and everybody loves it.
In the Indonesian market, we can easily find food products containing seaweed which have been increasing in recent years. According to Mintel.com in Q3 of 2023 totally there are 91 products NPL (New Product Launching) that contain seaweed ; as for seasoning or base of snack. Those products are categorized to some products; ready to eat seaweed snacks, snacks, instant seasoning, baby food, and bakery using seaweed seasoning. Compared to last year in 2022, only 74 products have been launched.
Source : Mintel.com
In the Horeca (Hotel Restaurant & Cafe) industry, seaweed seasoning is also popularly used. For example, in crispy chicken snacks, seaweed seasoning is usually used in addition to BBQ and Balado seasoning. The Increase of food products containing seaweed illustrates that the acceptance of Indonesian people towards seaweed is quite good. This can also describe that the demand for seaweed raw materials in Indonesia is also increasing every year.
Seaweed contains glutamic acid, a chemical compound responsible for umami taste on our tongue. Kikunae Ikeda, a Japanese chemist discovered it. Ikeda successfully extracted the chemical in his research on Kelp, one of variants of seaweed in 1908. Seaweed has notes of fishy, crustacea, marine and green aroma. All the profile aromas match with the variety of snack base, that’s why it is considered as the reason why all people around the world love it and all the foods which contain seaweed.
NP Foods Indonesia have been innovating and developing many variants of Seaweed Seasoning. Those seasonings can be applied for snacks, instant noodles, crackers, etc. NP Foods Indonesia is committed to become the best partner and trustworthy business partner in the Food Industry. We also committed to produce seasonings which comply with BPOM standard.
Umami information center (n.d). Kikunae Ikeda’s Background. https://www.umamiinfo.com/ikedakikunae/
Mintel.com (accessed on 29 September 2023)