Europe gets a taste for superfood seaweed

Miso soup with nori

Ocean superfood seaweed is increasingly being served in Europe: sales of seaweed-flavoured food and drink increased by 147 per cent between 2011 and 2015.

Kombu, wakame and nori (AKA laver) seaweed flavours could be the next big thing as an alternative to salt, as a protein source and as a healthier snack.

"Seaweed has been a famous delicacy in many Asian countries for centuries, celebrated for its flavour and nourishing powers," says Stephanie Mattucci, Global Food Science Analyst at Mintel, which released the statistics.

"While still somewhat niche in Europe, we believe that seaweed could become the next superfood. Due to its abundance in natural vitamins, minerals, and plant-based protein, seaweed speaks to the growing quest for naturally functional foods and alternative protein sources in the West."

According to the research, 44 per cent of British shoppers have either tried or would like to try algae as a protein source, while 36 per cent of those who currently use herbs, spices or seasonings in their cooking think salt could be replaced by ground, dried seaweed.