The Insect Protein Market is expected to reach $9.46 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 28.4% during the forecast period 2022–2030. In terms of volume, the Insect Protein Market is expected to reach 3,028,468.3 tonnes by 2030, at a CAGR of 31.5% during the forecast period 2022–2030. The key factors positively impacting the growth of the insect protein market are the rising awareness about the high nutritional value of insects, growing preference for innovative protein sources considering the rising greenhouse gas emissions from the animal industries, the environmental benefits of insect proteins, the increasing demand for insect proteins in the animal feed industry, and the low risk of transmitting zoonotic diseases with the consumption of insect proteins.
The Edible Insects Market is expected to reach $9.60 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.
The lack of standardized regulations across the globe on insect rearing, processing & consumption, psychological & ethical barriers to consuming insects as food, and the risk of allergies due to insect protein consumption are expected to restrain the growth of this market.
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.
A large base of the population demanding innovative food options and environmental suitability for insect rearing in emerging economies such as Asia and Africa are expected to offer significant growth opportunities for the players operating in the insect protein market.
However, a lack of awareness regarding the benefits of insect protein consumption is expected to remain a major challenge for the growth of this market.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Insect Protein Market
The COVID-19 pandemic created numerous challenges for the food sector, especially for meat products manufacturers across the globe. The meat products manufacturing industry 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 further restricted the development of the food sector. These factors are expected to impact the meat products industry, driving the demand for alternative protein sources, including insect proteins.
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 regionwide approval is projected to drive the demand and sale of insect proteins across Europe, creating immense opportunities for companies operating in the insect protein market.
The recent shutdown of major meatpacking plants due to the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted meat production in the U.S., resulting in an increase in consumer demand. 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 in U.S. meat production during the COVID-19 crisis.
In May 2020, Wuhan’s municipal government banned the breeding, hunting, and consumption of wild animals for the next five years, which is expected to limit the consumption of certain animals and related products in East Asian countries. These restrictions will further aggravate the shortage of meat products and accelerate the demand for alternatives such as insect proteins.
Moreover, increasing health & wellness trends and the rising awareness among consumers regarding the risk of viral infections, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, bone disorders, and increased risk of certain cancers associated with the long-term use of animal-derived proteins have created traction for sustainable protein sources such as insect proteins that can be cost-effectively reared on waste feed and water. To leverage this traction, many vendors in the insect proteins industry are focused on enhancing their production capacities, processes, end products, and raising funds from investors. Some of the major strategic developments 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 protein start-up, Flying Spark (Israel). These developments are expected to enhance the company’s presence in the insect protein market in the coming years.
- In March 2020, Protix BV, an insect farming company that rears 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 the extraction of 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 diversification 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 mealworms production facility for animal feed in North America.
- In May 2020, the ValuSect (Valuable Insects) project was introduced to drive insect protein production & processing techniques for insect-based production in Europe. The project received €08 million in a funding grant from Interreg North-West Europe. ValuSect partner services help businesses develop new products, conduct consumer taste panels, optimize insect rearing, and advance insect food processing. This project is planned 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 insect protein market.
Environmental Benefits of Insects Fuels the Growth of the Insect Protein Market
Insect rearing decreases the burden on the environment by reducing water use, land use, feed use, and greenhouse gas emissions. The environmental impact of food production is at the forefront of sustainability debates, particularly the need to reduce CO2 emissions and other issues, such as water & land use. By 2025, at least 1.8 million people are estimated to live in regions with inadequate freshwater supplies, and two-thirds of the global population is estimated to live in areas under pressure from depleting water sources (Source: FAO). The rising demand for meat is expected to increase the utilization of land resources for farmlands. Globally, twice as much land is used to raise livestock compared to farming. Also, one-third of the crops harvested go into feeding livestock.
Insects play an important role in the ecosystem. They have an enormous impact on plant reproduction through pollination and help improve soil fertility through waste bioconversion. Also, the feed conversion efficiency of insects makes their rearing a viable and environment-friendly alternative to traditional livestock rearing (on an average, insects can convert up to 2 kg of feed into 1 kg of insect mass, whereas cattle require 8–10 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of body weight gain). Insects produce substantially less ammonia and greenhouse gases than cattle and pigs. For example, pigs produce 10–100 times more greenhouse gases per kg body weight than mealworms. Moreover, land and water usage of insects is extremely low compared to cattle.
Hence, the environmental benefits of insects are expected to drive the growth of the insect protein market.
Key Findings in the Global Insect Protein Market Study
Insect Powder Segment to grow at the fastest CAGR during the forecast period
Based on product, the insect protein market is segmented into whole insects, insect powder, and insect meal. The insect powder segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period 2020–2030. Increasing health & wellness trends, 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 for the growth of this segment.
Cricket Segment to Dominate the Insect Protein Market in 2022
Based on insect type, the insect protein market is segmented into crickets, mealworms, black soldier flies, buffalo worms, grasshoppers, ants, silkworms, cicadas, and other insect proteins. In 2022, the crickets segment is estimated to account for the largest share of the insect protein market. The growth of the crickets segment is attributed to the higher incorporation of crickets in various recipes and products, high nutritional value and easy farming & processing of crickets, 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 insect protein 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 fast growth of this segment is driven by the growing food shortage worldwide, the increasing consumption of processed whole insects as food, and the rising demand for high-quality alternative protein and amino acid sources among end users.
Human Consumption Segment to Dominate the Insect protein Market in 2022
Based on end use, the insect protein 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 insect protein 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 protein sources.
North America: Growing at the fastest pace among all regions
Based on geography, the insect protein market is segmented into five major geographies: 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 insect protein foods in this region is attributed 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 insect proteins in North America.
The key players operating in the global insect protein 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:
Insect Protein Market, by Product
- Whole Insects
- Insect Powder
- Insect Meal
Insect Protein Market, by Insect Type
- Black Soldier Flies
- Buffalo Worms
- Other Insect proteins
Insect Protein Market, by Application
- Food & Beverages
- Processed Whole Insect
- Processed Insect Powder
- Protein Bars & Protein Shakes
- Baked Product & Snacks
- Insect Confectioneries
- Insect Beverages
- Other Food & Beverage Applications
- Animal Feed
- Aquaculture Feed
- Pet Food
Insect Protein Market, by End Use
- Human Consumption
- Animal Nutrition
Insect protein Market, by Geography
- North America
- Rest of Europe (RoE)
- Asia-Pacific (APAC)
- South Korea
- Rest of APAC (RoAPAC)
- Latin America
- Middle East & Africa
- Middle East & Africa