The global insect feed market was valued at USD 1,121.2 million in 2022. It is expected to reach USD 3,059.56 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 11.8% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
As a sustainable source of protein for livestock, pets, and people, insect feed is gaining popularity. Insect feed comes in various forms, making it a valuable product with multiple uses. Traditional feed sources can be replaced entirely or supplemented with insect feed. Additionally, eating insects as a form of food is becoming more and more popular. High levels of nutritious protein are added to edible insects and insect-based products. As a result, they are becoming more popular as an alternative to traditional animal-feed protein sources. Edible insects are a dry product that contains 50% to 80% of the necessary protein for animal nutrition.
|Market Size||USD 3,059.56 million by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||Europe|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
Global food demand is changing due to growing urbanization and evolving eating habits. Many trends drive innovation in the food system, but sustainability is at the top of the list. Oil, soy, and grains comprise most livestock, pigs, and poultry diets. Growing grains, soy, and oil meals take a lot of lands, water, and other resources. In contrast, insects use less energy and space.
In contrast to most crop plants used as animal feed, insects can be raised yearly due to seasonal variations. Maintaining the temperature requirements for insect growth and development indoors is possible. Insect market expansion is anticipated to be boosted by the decline in agricultural land and the viability of raising insects indoors and on organic waste without heavily relying on plants.
Governmental bodies should take the initiative to promote insect rearing as a practical and environmentally friendly option by coordinating with related ministries like health and agriculture to create new regulations and set up research facilities, as this industry is still in its infancy. A research consortium between public and private institutions working on insects for food and feed in Kenya was founded by the Kenyan government under GREEiNSECT. The creation of a system for international trade and food security standards has been funded for four years by the Danish International Development Agency. In 2016, under the guidelines of the Korean Food and Drug Administration, the South Korean government approved mealworms and crickets (not the typical Acheta Domesticus species, but the Gryllus bimaculatus species) as some edible insects. It is anticipated that more insects will likely be included in the eligibility list soon. The largest cricket breeder in the world, Thailand, has published GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) for insect farming. While there are no laws governing the breeding, selling, or export of insects in Southeast Asian nations, insects are traditionally consumed there. Thus, it is anticipated that an increase in the number of supportive government policies will fuel the growth of the insect feed market.
There are misconceptions about insects as food and feed, viewed as prehistoric people's food. Culture also impacts eating habits, and in most cultures, protein from meat and poultry is regarded as the best source. The availability, appearance, quality, taste, and safety of eating insects are some issues that are preventing it, and a sizable portion of the population is hesitant to try new foods. Only a few regions cultivate insects, and those that do are scarcer. Nevertheless, they are now coated in chocolate to make them more appealing.
In addition, consumers readily accept food that fits their eating habits, but insects must be starved for 24 to 48 hours before being killed because they may have bacteria in their guts that are harmful to human health. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that the current growth substrates could not be used as feed materials because they may result in microbial hazards compared to the protein of animal origin after studying the entire production chain of insects as food and feed. Establishing the safe shelf-life of edible insects for human and animal consumption will require more thorough research. Thus, the perception of the market under study during the forecast period, as well as its accessibility and lack of standard practices, may constrain its expansion.
Only a tiny amount of insect-related research is being done globally, and it is only done in countries like the United States, Canada, and the European Union (EU). During the forecast period, the regulatory agencies' acceptance of revised regulations, particularly in Asian and African nations, may help the market under study grow. Compared to traditional animal feed products, the commercial-scale production of insect feed products needs to be improved. Capital investment supports insect feed diversification and production scaling up and will likely benefit the insect feed industry. Diversifying different insect-fed species across other animal feed sectors is likely crucial for the market under study's future. Currently, deregulation is permitted for the following insect species: common houseflies, yellow mealworms, lesser mealworms, house crickets, banded crickets, and field crickets. In addition, aquaculture rules the insect feed market. The insect feed market is anticipated to expand over the forecast period thanks to research efforts across numerous animal feed sectors.
The global insect feed market is segmented by region into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant revenue contributor and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.3% during the forecast period. In rural China, insect farming is a distinctive form of breeding that provides locals with a means of subsistence. The use of insects as food is being promoted by social and scientific communities. China's rural population dropped from 42.0% in 2017 to 38.57% in 2020, making it a country with an upper middle class and raising the income levels of its citizens (World Bank). Insect feed is a significant source of income in rural areas, and the decline in the rural population is driving up the income shares of the remaining rural population.
Additionally, regional Chinese businesses like Guangzhou Wuliang Biotechnology Co. and Haocheng Mealworms Inc. Instead of importing soybeans from the United States for animal feed, Ltd. has started producing insect feed. The US-China trade war is to blame for this decline. In 2019 a crop-eating pest caused significant damage to many of the nation's crops used as animal feed. As a result, businesses have created novel insect feeds to give livestock a diet high in protein. As a result, the demand for nourishing insect feed for animals has grown in recent years as a result of the rising meat consumption. Additionally, the country's insect feed market has benefited from investments made by the industry.
Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.8% during the forecast period. Entomics, a biotechnology company headquartered in the UK, feeds waste to insects to recycle approximately 1.3 billion tons of food waste globally. According to estimates, this, in turn, transforms low-value biomass into high-value insect mass that is brimming with proteins, fats, and chitin. These can be utilized as sustainable inputs for several industries, most notably aquaculture, which demands high-quality animal feeds. Thus, creative approaches to reducing food waste and developing nutrient-rich insect feed could spur market expansion in the nation.
In 2017, RSK ADAS Ltd organized a workshop for the development of insect farming in the UK with the help of the British Ecological Society Agricultural Ecology Group, the Royal Entomological Society, and the Woven Network. Strict regulations may be applied to all facets of feed production in conjunction with additional UK legislation and directives from the Food Standards Agency. The European Union changed this law to permit the use of some insect meals in poultry feed in addition to aquaculture. As a result, corporate investments and governmental regulations may boost the country’s insect feed market.
North America is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period. The American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) were advised by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to amend the feed for poultry to include dried black soldier fly (BFSL) in September 2018. The suggestion makes BFSL an option for a more stable natural protein source for poultry diets. By including this ingredient in their animal feed products, the nation's animal feed producers are capitalizing on the FDA's recent approval of the use of BFSL in poultry feed. Additionally, these businesses are raising money and growing their operations to meet the growing demand for sustainable animal feed worldwide. As a result, the market for animal feed is being stimulated by the increase in prices for traditional animal feeds like soybean and fish meal. The deregulation of insect feed by influential organizations (like the FDA) also promotes market expansion.
One of the leading nations that export poultry meat is Brazil. Due to the rise in global meat consumption, domestic poultry producers are searching for effective, sustainable, and environmentally friendly alternatives. As a result, insects like black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) function as a more effective animal feed alternative than traditional soybean feed. Brazil's feedlot operations are anticipated to grow globally due to higher cattle prices. Sao Paulo and the Center-West states of Mato Grosso, Goias, and Mato Grosso do Sul are home to most of the world's feedlots. In Brazil, they make up more than half of all feedlots. As they are available all year long, insects are a viable option for animal feed when it comes to feeding these animals during the dry season. There needs to be legislation promoting the market expansion despite the research activities supporting the use of insects in animal feed. The market under study might expand over the forecast period as more businesses locate production facilities there and with assistance from the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply in promoting the use of insects as ingredients in animal feed.
Egypt is one of the world's top aquaculture producers, mainly tilapia fish. As a result, aquafeed consumption is widespread in the nation. The insect feed can meet the substantial demand for aquafeed in the nation. One of the nation's top start-up businesses, Proteinia is actively involved in developing cutting-edge production techniques with a particular focus on the Black Soldier Fly (BSF). These businesses' efforts will increase Egypt's demand for insect feed. Thus, it is anticipated that the country's insect feed market will be driven by scientific research combined with innovations from start-up businesses during the forecast period.
The global insect feed market is bifurcated based on animal type into aquaculture, poultry, and swine.
The aquaculture segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.1% during the forecast period. Over the past few years, the price of fishmeal and fish oil used in fish feeding has increased due to the expansion of aquaculture and the rising demand for farmed fish around the world. As a result, insect feed offers aquafeed producers a viable, protein-rich alternative to fishmeal and other plant-based feed ingredients. Regulatory agencies' recognition and acceptance are driving the aquaculture market. Major players, like Cargill, are working with other significant market participants to commercialize insect feed. For instance, to promote fish feed containing insect protein and support the expansion of sustainable aquaculture, Cargill, and the French producer of insect protein, InnovaFeed, entered into a strategic partnership in 2019. Insect feed is a suitable replacement for aquafeed because it has a similar nutritional profile to fish meal products. The European Union's continued deregulation of insects for aquafeed is fueling the market's expansion.
The demand from the expanding population is driving a rapid rise in the consumption of animal products worldwide, particularly poultry. Results in the Journal of Cleaner Production suggest that switching from soybean meal to insect meal will likely increase the sustainability of poultry production. Major players in the food service industry are investigating new workable replacements for animal protein feed and replacing plant protein feed as part of their sustainability strategy. As a result, poultry farms worldwide are searching for alternative protein substitutes, such as insect feed, as sustainable feed in the poultry industry in response to the growing demand for sustainable poultry production.
The global insect feed market’s major key players are