Global Insect Protein Market 2021
The global insect protein market is projected to experience significant growth, with an estimated value of $343 million in 2021, expected to reach $1,387 million by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 26.49%. This growth is driven by the increasing demand for protein-rich products, sustainable raw materials, and their contribution to the circular economy.
The global population growth has led to a significant increase in the demand for protein. Protein is crucial for the growth and development of both animals and humans, providing various benefits such as increased muscle mass, strengthened bones, improved metabolism, and more. However, it is estimated that one billion people worldwide suffer from inadequate protein intake, particularly in Central Africa and South Asia, where up to 30% of children have insufficient protein in their diets. Meeting the protein needs of the growing population is challenging due to limited resources and the impact of climate change on land and water bodies.
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USD 1387 Mn incremental growth between 2021 and 2026
Product, Application, Distribution Channel, Region
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The insect protein market is still emerging and undergoing research and development efforts to create insect protein-based products. This trend is driven by shifting consumer preferences towards plant-based meat and veganism.
Integration of emerging technologies presents significant opportunities in the global insect market. Insect protein properties can be customized for various applications, leading to increased adoption in animal feed, human food, agriculture, cosmetics, and the pharmaceutical industry.
As the world focuses on achieving net-zero emissions, there is a growing demand for eco-friendly and sustainable products. The food and beverages industry, particularly in North America and Europe, is leading this shift. Insect protein-based products offer a viable alternative to traditional plant and animal-based food products.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global insect protein market has been insignificant since these products are emerging in the market. Additionally, the rise in the demand for protein-rich products is expected to drive market growth in the coming years, as insect protein-based products offer superior nutrition compared to traditional protein sources. Some insect protein-based products also possess medicinal properties, such as ants, which have antimicrobial benefits. Therefore, the consumption and use of other insect protein-based products are expected to increase during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Drivers of demand in the insect protein market include the increasing demand for protein-rich products, a growing preference for natural and sustainable raw materials, and the rising demand for insect protein in the animal nutrition industry. However, the market may face challenges such as lower acceptance due to limited awareness, the trend towards plant-based products, and potential allergies caused by insect protein.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including product, application, distribution channel, and region.
Segmentation by Product
Black Soldier Fly
Segmentation by Application
Food and Beverage Industry
Segmentation by Distribution Channel
Segmentation by Region
North America – U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Europe – Germany, France, and Rest-of-Europe
Asia Pacific – Japan, Australia, and Rest-of-Asia Pacific
South America – Brazil, Argentina, and Rest-of-South America
Middle East and Africa – Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Rest-of-Middle East and Africa
The animal feed industry is expected to dominate the application segment of the global insect protein market. This is primarily due to the highly nutritious nature of insect protein and its superior feed conversion efficiency. Insect protein is used in various applications such as poultry feed, aquafeed, pet food, pig feed, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and personal care products. Insect meal is gaining popularity in countries like China, Europe, North America, Australia, and Southeast Asia. Additionally, at least 16 insect species have been evaluated as alternative protein sources in aquafeeds. Large-scale insect farming is advantageous as it requires less space, is cost-effective, and has minimal negative impact on the environment, making it a sustainable resource for aquafeed production. Insect oil and meal are also widely utilized in animal feed. Numerous research studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of insect meal, derived from various insect species such as the Black Soldier Fly, housefly, grasshoppers, crickets, earthworms, and mealworms, as a valuable ingredient in poultry diets. Crickets are particularly significant in the human food and beverage industry, where cricket powder is extensively used to create protein powder, pasta, protein bars, cookies, and other products. Moreover, waste generated from insect production, such as leftover substrate and frass, can serve as biofertilizer for crop production due to its nutrient and microbial characteristics.
Cricket-based insect products slightly dominate the global insect protein market, owing to their versatility, high nutritional value, and potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and maintaining ecosystem balance. Various insect species, including crickets, Black Soldier Fly, mealworms, grasshoppers, and ants, are utilized for edible purposes in the food, feed, and personal care industries. Edible crickets, in particular, have gained acceptance in both human food and animal feed, with over 60 cricket species consumed in 49 countries worldwide. Crickets have high protein content ranging from 55% to 73% of dry matter, as well as lipids ranging from 4.30% to 33.44% of dry matter. Black Soldier Fly meal, which contains 42% protein and 36% fat, is also gaining popularity among global consumers.
The offline segment slightly dominates the global insect protein market, with more companies providing products and materials through offline channels. However, the online segment is experiencing rapid growth.
In terms of regional revenue, North America generated the highest revenue of $86 million in 2021. Europe also holds a significant share of revenue for the years 2021-2027. The Asia-Pacific and Japan region, where insect consumption has a long history, is experiencing tremendous growth in the insect protein market, with a projected high CAGR of 31.11% during the forecast period of 2021-2027. The North American region is expected to dominate the global market due to the increasing demand for insect proteins in the animal feed industry, particularly for aquafeed and pig feed. The market growth is further driven by research and development activities and the adoption of insect protein as a supplement in countries like the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The U.S. is a major player in this market, with several key market players operating globally.
The Asia-Pacific region is anticipated to exhibit the highest growth rate during the forecast period of 2022-2027. This region has a developing economy with a growing population, especially in emerging countries like India and China. This population growth creates a demand for more food and protein consumption. Insects provide an easy and sustainable source of protein, which can help meet the needs of a large population. Additionally, countries such as China, Thailand, and Malaysia have a long history of insect consumption. Key market players in the Asia-Pacific region are also focused on product innovation to offer improved offerings.
Key players in the global insect protein market have made significant advancements through activities such as mergers and acquisitions, business expansions, partnerships, collaborations, joint ventures, and product launches.
For example, in February 2022, FeedWerkz, a Singapore-based insect farming technology startup, introduced a fully integrated pet food product line called Conscious Creatures.
Similarly, in February 2022, InnovaFeed and ADM entered into a strategic collaboration agreement. Under this agreement, Innovafeed will supply its Black soldier Fly protein to ADM’s pet food division to develop high-quality nutritious products with a significantly lower carbon footprint and land requirement compared to conventional animal protein.
Furthermore, in June 2020, Protix announced a collaboration with Agrifirm, leading to the launch of several new initiatives utilizing Protix’s insect-based compounds.
Key companies profiled in this report include Aspire Food Group, Chapul, LLC, Entomo Farms, Enviroflight, Global Bugs, Goterra, Hexafly, Innovafeed, Jimini’s, nextProtein, Nutrition Technologies, Protix, Thailand Unique, Ynsect (SAS).
Recent Industry Developments
In January 2022, following its victory in a national trade competition and the establishment of a prominent research partnership, French insect protein company Ynsect is seeking to expand into the Japanese and Korean markets.
In December 2021, Neo Bites, a sustainable pet food start-up dedicated to improving dog health and the environmental impact of the pet food industry, introduced the first line of functional dog food toppers made from insect protein.
In November 2021, Agronutris, a French insect protein producer, unveiled plans to invest approximately $116 million in the construction of two new factories in north-eastern France. These factories will supply a significant portion of their output to the European pet food industry.
In May 2018, Protix and Buhler joined forces through a joint venture to develop rearing and processing solutions for the global market, with a focus on promoting the growth of the worldwide insect-based ingredient market. As a result of this collaboration, Buhler Insect Technology Solutions was established, aligning both companies’ commitment to quality and safety.
In January 2020, Darling Ingredients announced its acquisition of Intrexon Corporation’s 50% joint venture interest in EnviroFlight, LLC, making Darling Ingredients the sole owner of this U.S.-based insect protein producer.
Key Questions Answered
What is the estimated global market size of insect protein in terms of revenue during the forecast period 2022-2027?
What is the expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the forecast period 2022-2027?
What are the key trends, market drivers, and opportunities in the global insect protein market?
What are the major restraints inhibiting the growth of the global insect protein market?
What new strategies are being adopted by existing market players to expand their market position in the industry?
What is the competitive strength of key players in the global insect protein market based on their recent developments, product offerings, and regional presence?
How do the key global insect protein market players in the food sector compare in terms of market coverage and market potential?
How much revenue is each segment expected to record during the forecast period, and what is their expected growth percentage?
Who are the players and stakeholders operating in the market ecosystem of insect protein, and what is their significance in the global market?
Which region represents the largest market for the global insect protein market?
What is the expected future scenario and revenue generated by different regions and countries in the global insect protein market, such as North America, South America, Europe, the U.K., China, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa?