Global Edible Insects Market – Forecast to 2030
By Product (Whole Insect, Insect Powder, Insect Meal, Insect Oil) Insect Type (Crickets, Black
Soldier Fly, Mealworms), Application (Animal Feed, Protein Bar and Shakes, Bakery,
Confectionery, Beverages), and Geography
The Edible Insects Market is expected to reach $9.6 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 28.3% during the forecast period 2022–2030. In terms of volume, the edible insects market is expected to reach 3,139,035.10 tonnes by 2030, at a CAGR of 31.1% during the forecast period 2022–2030. The growth of this market is driven by the growing greenhouse gas emissions from the livestock and poultry industries, the high nutritional value of insects, the environmental benefits of edible insects, the rising demand for insect protein in the animal feed industry, and the low risk of transmitting zoonotic diseases with the consumption of edible insects.
However, the lack of a standardized regulatory framework, psychological & ethical barriers to consuming insects as food, and the risk of allergies due to insect consumption is expected to restrain the growth of this market. Emerging economies are expected to hold significant growth opportunities for the players operating in this market. However, a lack of awareness regarding the benefits of insect consumption is expected to remain a major challenge for the growth of this market.
Impact of COVID-19 on the edible insects market
The COVID-19 pandemic emerged as a severe public health emergency globally, quickly spreading to more than 215 countries. According to the World Health Organization, the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, with more than 482,227,744 confirmed cases and 6,130,303 associated deaths worldwide as of 31 March 2022. Numerous countries have declared emergencies and announced complete nationwide lockdowns, restricting all travel, transport, manufacturing, and non-essential trade, to combat and control the spread of this disease, significantly impacting many industries.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created numerous challenges for the food sector, especially for meat products manufacturers across the globe. The meat products manufacturing industry has faced major challenges, such as the risk of continuing production, distribution, transportation, and other supply chain activities, limited workforce, and delays in product development. The rescheduling of private investment financing and public funding initiatives has further restricted the development of the food sector. These factors are anticipated to impact the meat products industry, driving the demand for alternative protein sources, including edible insects.
In 2021, the European Food Safety Authority approved the sale of insects, including migratory locusts (Locusta migratoria) and yellow mealworms, for human consumption (Source: IPIFF). Currently, only a few EU countries use insect-based products. A region-wide approval is projected to drive the demand and sale of edible insects across Europe, creating immense opportunities for companies operating in the edible insects space.
The recent shutting down of major meatpacking plants due to COVID-19 disease has restricted meat production in the U.S. while consumer demand is rising. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that between March and April 2020, the volume of frozen pork in storage declined by 4%, and slaughter rates dropped by 25%. However, many news sources have commented that it is still too early to declare a food crisis. Some economists predict that consumers will have significantly fewer options for meat and protein. All these factors and Europe’s recent authorization could create a snowball effect around the globe. As insects contain high quantities of protein, vitamins, and minerals, they could fill the gap left by the U.S. meat producers during the COVID-19 crisis.
Considering that the virus was transmitted from animals, in May 2020, Wuhan’s municipal government banned breeding, hunting, and consuming wild animals for the next five years, which is expected to place restrictions on the consumption of certain animals and related products in some cities located specifically in the East Asian countries. This move will further aggravate the shortage of meat products and accelerate the demand for alternatives such as edible insects.
Moreover, increasing health & wellness trends and consumers’ rising awareness regarding the increased risk of viral infections, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, bone disorders, and certain cancers associated with the long-term use of animal proteins have created traction for sustainable protein sources. Edible insects can be cost-effectively reared on waste feed and water. To leverage this traction, many vendors in the edible insects industry are focused on enhancing their production capacities, processes, and end products and raising funds from investors. Some of the major strategic developments in the edible insects market were:
- In March 2020, the Thai Union Group (Thailand) announced plans to invest $30 million in alternative proteins and other FoodTech innovations. The company also invested an undisclosed amount in an insect-derived protein start-up, Flying Spark (Israel). These developments are expected to enhance the company’s presence in the edible insects market in the coming years.
- In March 2020, Protix BV, an insect farming company that breeds black soldier fly larvae and processes them into ingredients like proteins and lipids, announced raising funds (an undisclosed amount) from Rabo Corporate to enhance its insect production facility in the Netherlands.
- In May 2020, Insectta Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based start-up dealing with extracting valuable biomaterials from insects, received a second investment from Trendlines Agrifood Fund Pte. Ltd. (Fund of The Trendlines Group Ltd.). This development is expected to increase the value and diversity of products attained from food waste valorization.
- In May 2020, Beta Hatch, a U.S.-based insect rearing technology company, received $3 million in a Series A1 funding round from Cavallo Ventures, Wilbur-Ellis’ venture capital arm and early-stage venture firm Innova Memphis. The round also included investments from Klein Private Equity Investment and Brighton Jones Investment Partners. Beta Hatch is expected to open its mealworm production facility for animal feed in North America.
- In May 2020, the ValuSect (Valuable Insects) project was introduced to drive edible insects production & processing techniques for insect-based production in Europe. The project received €2.08 million in a funding grant from Interreg North-West Europe. ValuSect partner services help establishments develop new products, conduct consumer taste panels, optimize insect breeding, and advance insect food processing. This project is slated to run till June 2023.
- In April 2020, VDL Agrotech undertook the initiative to develop an innovative insect feeding machine. At present, insects are largely fed manually, making them labor-intensive. However, the development of the feeding machine is expected to automate the feeding process, leading to higher production volumes at comparatively lower costs.
Thus, the increasing preference for alternative proteins over animal proteins has created a new wave of interest in the edible insects market.
Rising demand for insect protein in the animal feed industry fuels the growth of the edible insects market
Developing regions, such as Asia, Africa, and Latin America, are expected to witness exponential growth in their human population and changes in dietary patterns in tandem with economic growth, leading to a 70% increase in the demand for livestock products by 2050. The prices of livestock products are increasing due to the rising feed costs. Presently, the cost of the feed accounts for 60–70% of the total livestock production costs. Fish and soybean meal are the major protein sources for animal feed. However, these sources compete with food production for humans. Moreover, the availability of fishmeal has become limited due to the over-exploitation of marine resources, causing a rapid increase in the cost of feed ingredients. Hence, the search for sustainable alternatives has led to a growing interest in using insects as feed ingredients.
Edible insects have high protein content, and their production has a small footprint. Insect species that are mass-reared, such as the black soldier fly, have drawn significant attention due to their ability to feed on different substrates, including organic waste streams. The ability of the black soldier fly to convert organic waste into high-quality nutrients has rapidly spurred the development of black soldier fly-based products, such as protein meal, which is cheaper than fishmeal or soybean meal and can be used as an alternative source of protein in pig, poultry, and fish feeds. According to the FDA, when soybean and fishmeal were replaced with black soldier fly larvae meal by 10–56%, broiler quail and chicken meat had a satisfactory taste, aroma, and nutritional composition. In addition, the black soldier fly meal was also used as fish feed for Nile tilapia (in different proportions), which resulted in similar growth performance and feed conversion.
Therefore, animal feed manufacturers have started incorporating black soldier fly meal into their products as an alternative source of protein due to high growth performance and the rising prices of fishmeal and soya meal, the growth drivers of the edible insects market.
Key Findings in the Global Edible Insects Market Study
Insect powder segment to grow with the fastest CAGR during the forecast period
Based on product, the edible insects market is segmented into whole insects, insect powder, insect meal, and insect oil. The insect powder segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period 2020—2030. The increasing inclination of consumers toward fitness & wellness, the rising number of health clubs & fitness centers serving insect powder, the emergence of several start-ups producing insect protein bars & shakes, and busy lifestyles demanding highly nutritious & convenient foods, such as insect powder are some of the major drivers of growth in this segment.
Cricket segment to dominate the edible insects market in 2022
Based on insect type, the edible insects market is segmented into crickets, mealworms, black soldier flies, buffalo worms, grasshoppers, ants, silkworms, cicadas, and others. In 2022, the crickets segment is estimated to account for the largest share of the edible insects market. The growth of the crickets segment is attributed to the high nutritional value and easy farming & processing of crickets, their incorporation into various recipes and foods products, and the rising demand for cricket-based food products, such as protein powders, protein bars, and snacks.
Food & beverages segment to grow with the fastest CAGR during the forecast period
Based on application, the edible insects market is segmented into food & beverages and feed. The food & beverages segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period 2020—2030. The rapid growth of this segment is driven by the rising food shortage worldwide, the increasing consumption of processed whole insects as food, and the increasing demand for high-quality alternative protein and amino acid sources among end users.
Human consumption segment to dominate the edible insects market in 2022
Based on end use, the edible insects market is segmented into human consumption and animal nutrition. In 2022, the human consumption segment is expected to account for the largest share of the overall edible insects market. The large market share of this segment is attributed to the rising demand for insect-based foods to feed the growing global population, the high nutritional value of insects in human nutrition, and the growing demand for environment-friendly alternative sources of protein.
North America: growing at the fastest pace among all regions
Based on geography, the edible insects market is segmented into five major regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa. North America is slated to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The increasing demand for edible insects in this region is due to the growing demand for environment-friendly protein-rich food. Moreover, increasing familiarity with insects-as-food, decreasing food neophobia, and altering attitudes towards insects, both in general and as food, are the key factors responsible for the rising acceptance of edible insects in North America.
The key players operating in the edible insects market include Ÿnsect (SAS) (France), Protix B.V. (Netherlands), Enterra Feed Corporation (Canada), InnovaFeed (France), EnviroFlight, LLC (U.S.), Nutrition Technologies Group (Singapore), Entomo Farms (Canada), Hargol FoodTech (Israel), Aspire Food Group (U.S.), All Things Bugs LLC (U.S.), Beta Hatch (U.S.), EntoCube OY (Finland), Armstrong Crickets Georgia (U.S.), Global Bugs Asia Co., Ltd (Thailand), JR Unique Foods (Thailand), Cricket Lab Limited (U.K.), BioflyTech (Spain), TEBRIO (Spain), nextProtein (France), Hexafly (Ireland), HiProMine S.A. (Poland), and Protenga Pte. Ltd. (Singapore).
Scope of the Report:
Edible Insects Market, by Product
- Whole Insects
- Insect Powder
- Insect Meal
- Insect Oil
Edible Insects Market, by Insect Type
- Black Soldier Flies
- Buffalo Worms
- Other Edible Insects
Edible Insects Market, by Application
- Food & Beverages
- Processed Whole Insect
- Processed Insect Powder
- Protein Bars & Shakes
- Baked Products & Snacks
- Insect Confectioneries
- Insect Beverages
- Other Food & Beverage Applications
- Animal Feed
- Aquaculture Feed
- Pet Food
Edible Insects Market, by End Use
- Human Consumption
- Animal Nutrition
Edible Insects Market, by Geography
- North America
- Rest of Europe
- Asia-Pacific (APAC)
- South Korea
- Rest of APAC (RoAPAC)
- Latin America
- Middle East & Africa