Home Food & Beverages Insect Protein Market Size, Growth, Forecast Report till 2032

Insect Protein Market

Insect Protein Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Insect Type (Cricket, Yellow mealworm), By Protein (Protein bars, Protein flour, Smoothie, Others), By Application (Food products, Animal feed, Edible film industry (packaging)), By Protein Extraction (Solvent-based, Aqueous-based), By Distribution Channel (Direct, Indirect) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2024-2032

Report Code: SRFB993DR
Study Period 2020-2032 CAGR 27.1%
Historical Period 2020-2022 Forecast Period 2024-2032
Base Year 2023 Base Year Market Size USD XX Billion
Forecast Year 2032 Forecast Year Market Size USD XX Billion
Largest Market Europe Fastest Growing Market Asia-Pacific
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Market Overview

The global Insect Protein Market size was valued at USD XX billion in 2022. It is projected to reach USD XX billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 27.1% during the forecast period (2023–2031).

Insect protein is obtained from insects, which is increasingly acknowledged as a feasible and environmentally friendly protein source for both human and animal use. Insects provide a high protein content and vital amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, rendering them a nourishing substitute for conventional protein sources like meat and plant-based proteins. The use of insect protein has garnered interest because of its capacity to tackle worldwide food security issues and environmental problems linked to traditional cattle farming. Over 2,000 edible insects exist, including beetles, caterpillars, bees, wasps, ants, grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, cicadas, leaf and planthoppers, scale insects, true bugs, termites, dragonflies, and flies.

The high nutritional value of edible insects, including high-quality protein, vitamins, and amino acids, drives the insect protein market. Growing consumer awareness of the benefits of nutritious food products and a preference for a healthy lifestyle are projected to drive insect protein market growth throughout the forecast period. The growing health consciousness among customers worldwide has boosted the demand for healthy and nutritious food products, creating opportunities for producers in various industries to provide such products.

Market Dynamics

Global Insect Protein Market Drivers:

Nutritional Benefits

The nutritional value of insect protein is a significant reason for its growing popularity as a sustainable protein source. Insects provide a nutrient-dense profile, including critical amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. Insects include a high protein content, with a dry weight of 35-60% and a fresh weight of 10-25%. This is higher than the protein level of plant foods such as soybeans, lentils, and cereal. In rare circumstances, insects may have more protein than meat or eggs. Cricket flour has a high protein level, 45-70%. Crickets contain between 58% and 65% protein per insect, and the study indicates that cricket protein equals skinless chicken breast. 

Furthermore, cricket flour includes 6 to 11 milligrams of iron per 100 grams, more than double the amount in spinach. A cellular study indicates that our systems absorb nutrients like iron more efficiently than beef when provided by crickets. This shows the high protein content that may be obtained via insect processing.

Besides, according to a 2018 research by UK gym operator PureGym, 35% of gym members would be willing to try edible bugs as a source of protein. This ratio rises to 47% for those who exercise regularly, compared to 21% for infrequent exercisers. In January 2023, the European Union (EU) approved a fourth insect as a food protein source. The EU has announced that Alphitobius dispersions, an insect species in the Tenebrionidae family (darkling beetles), can now be used as a food additive. Consumer awareness of these nutritional benefits increases, contributing to insect protein's overall acceptance and use in various food and feed applications. Thus, it has a positive impact on the insect protein market trend.

Global Insect Protein Market Restraints:

Consumer Acceptance and Perception

Consumer acceptability of insect protein remains challenging due to cultural aversions, psychological hurdles, and unfamiliarity with insect intake in Western nations. Overcoming the perceptual barriers to consuming insects is critical for the widespread adoption of insect-based goods. Despite insect protein's nutritional benefits, including its high-quality amino acid composition and sustainable production, consumer acceptance differs around the globe. In Western countries where insect consumption is not firmly rooted in culinary traditions, introducing insect-based cuisine is met with hostility.

Furthermore, there are various psychological barriers to acceptance of eating insects, and the concept of entomophagy can elicit a range of feelings. Neophobia and disgust are frequently cited as the two primary psychological elements influencing the rejection of insects as food. Entomophobia is the fear of insects, whether touched, seen, or eaten. It's a widespread phobia and stigma in Western culture. According to 2022 research from Germany's environment agency, the UBA, 80% of Germans feel repulsed by the prospect of eating insects. "Disgust is considered the most significant impediment to introducing insects to the Western food market.

Global Insect Protein Market Opportunity:

Rising Demand for Sustainable Protein Sources

The growing global demand for sustainable and environmentally acceptable protein sources makes insect protein a viable opportunity. As the world's population rises, meeting the protein needs of a growing population while reducing environmental effects becomes a significant concern. With its high feed conversion efficiency and low resource requirements, insect protein represents a sustainable option. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), insects are a highly sustainable protein source. The FAO emphasizes insect farming's environmental benefits, such as fewer greenhouse gas emissions, reduced land use, and improved feed conversion. This reflects the increased desire for sustainable protein sources. Furthermore, insects may produce 150 tons of insect protein per hectare (2.47 acres) of land annually. They use significantly less water than growing cattle, sheep, goats, and poultry—100 gallons of water yields 6g of beef protein, 18g of chicken protein, or 238g of cricket protein. 

Moreover, global programs encouraging sustainable diets, such as the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, and Health, highlight the importance of shifting to sustainable protein sources. In January 2024, the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced a credit deal with Protix, a Netherlands-based insect component company, to help it expand its sustainable protein manufacturing. The credit agreement includes up to €37 million in extra funding for Protix's international expansion. The funding will also go towards creating a new industrial factory in Poland. Insect protein is consistent with these programs' concepts, contributing to the overall market opportunity.

Regional Analysis

The global insect protein market analysis is conducted in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America.

Europe Dominates the Global Market

Europe is the most significant global insect protein market shareholder and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 27.3% over the forecast period. In the European market, consumers more widely accept insect protein for food and beverage, animal nutrition, and personal care. The recent licensing of insect protein for feed, particularly chicken and pig, will likely boost demand in the European market. High demand for insect protein from developed countries such as France, Germany, and the United Kingdom will grow the market during the forecast period. In most European countries, human consumption of insects is limited and frequently deemed culturally incorrect. With a growing population and a demand for traditional pork, beef, and chicken meat, insects are being examined as a source of animal protein. As of September 2021, the EU allows the use of insect protein in the diet of certain animals.

In addition, in 2021, the EU Member States approved using insect-processed animal proteins (PAPs) in poultry and pig feed. The European Commission approved the fourth bug, Alphitobius diaperionus, the lesser mealworm on the market, as food in 2023. The smaller mealworm is the larval stage of the darkling beetle. Lesser mealworms were certified as novel foods. The unique cuisine comprised paste, powder, frozen, and dried house crickets. These were intended to be sold as a food ingredient in various food products for the general public in Europe. Insect protein is also being blended into other ordinary foods so that people benefit from the nutrients without even realizing they are eating insects. As a result, producers have introduced insect protein powder-based protein bars, powder, pasta, and bread goods. Because the insects are not directly apparent to the consumers, such products are widely accepted.

Asia-Pacific is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 27.4% over the forecast period. The Asia-Pacific region is predicted to increase due to rising consumer demand in India, China, and Thailand. Furthermore, nations such as Thailand and Indonesia have a long history of insect consumption and are significant manufacturers of insect-based raw materials. Thailand boasts more than 50 edible bug species, and insect intake is essential to the country's daily diet. China is expected to increase rapidly due to rising exports and domestic demand for insect-based protein components. China is one of the leading economies for insect-based protein since raw materials are readily available. Demand for insect-based protein will rise in emerging countries as the pharmaceutical and food and beverage sectors expand over the next few years. Furthermore, the existence of developing countries is expected to fuel demand for nutritional food items throughout the projection period.

Furthermore, in February 2008, the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific hosted an international workshop titled 'Forest Insects as Food: Humans Bite Back' in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The workshop brought together numerous international specialists on entomophagy, emphasizing the research, management, collection, harvesting, processing, marketing, and eating of edible forest insects and their commercial viability for local farmers. The Chiang Mai workshop aims to improve awareness of edible forest insects' potential as a food source, their contribution to rural lives, and their links to sustainable forest management and conservation. Furthermore, entomophagy, or eating insects, is becoming increasingly popular in Japan and other areas of the world. People in Japan are embracing the concept of eating bugs as a sustainable and nutritious source of protein. 

North America holds a significant market share. According to Insect Protein Market insights, The United States had the most considerable revenue share in the North American market in 2023, owing to strong consumer awareness and the existence of health-conscious customers. Furthermore, in the United States, more than half of the population suffers from one or more preventable chronic diseases, many of which are caused by bad eating habits and lack of exercise. This is driving up demand for healthy and nutritious food products nationwide.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
Segmentations
By Insect Type
  1. Cricket
  2. Yellow mealworm
By Protein
  1. Protein bars
  2. Protein flour
  3. Smoothie
  4. Others
By Application
  1. Food products
  2. Animal feed
  3. Edible film industry (packaging)
By Protein Extraction
  1. Solvent-based
  2. Aqueous-based
By Distribution Channel
  1. Direct
  2. Indirect
Company Profiles Aspire Food Group Ynsect NL Nutrition & Health B.V. EntomoFarms Chapul Cricket Protein Jimini's EnviroFlight LLC Swarm Nutrition GmbH AgriProtein Holdings Ltd Next Protein Inc. Innovafeed
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Singapore Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global insect protein market is segmented based on insect type, product, application, protein extraction, distribution channel, source, and region.

The insect type is further segmented into Cricket, Yellow Mealworm, Black Soldier Fly, Beetles, and Caterpillar.

Crickets generate the most revenue in the market.

Cricket

Crickets are one of the most extensively consumed insects in the world and are high in protein. They are a popular alternative for insect protein production because of their very rapid conversion of feed to protein. Crickets have a mild and nutty flavor, making them suitable for various culinary uses. They are frequently ground into cricket flour or powder used in protein bars, snacks, and baked items.

Based on product, the market is fragmented into Protein Bars, Protein Flour, and Smoothie.

Protein Flour accounts for the largest share of the market.

Protein Flour

Protein flour made from insects, such as crickets or mealworms, is a versatile ingredient with many culinary applications. Insect protein flour is made by processing dried and powdered insects into a fine powder. This powder can be used in various recipes, including baked goods, pasta, and snacks, to boost protein content. Protein flour is a sustainable and nutritious alternative to standard flour. It is consistent with the growing trend of employing alternative protein sources in everyday cooking, making it an appealing option for consumers looking for unique and sustainable products.

By application, the market is subdivided into Food Products, Animal Feed, and the Edible Film Industry (Packaging).

Food Products hold a significant market share.

Food Products

Insect protein is widely used to create culinary products, including snacks, baked goods, pasta, and protein bars. Insect protein's versatility allows it to be used in various culinary applications. As a sustainable protein source, it meets the growing need for environmentally friendly and healthy foods. Using insect protein in food items corresponds to the increasing trend of alternative protein consumption, providing customers with a practical and ecologically responsible protein option.

By protein extraction, the market is sub-segmented into Solvent-Based, Aqueous-Based.

Aqueous-based is the most popular Protein Extraction.

Aqueous-Based

Aqueous-based protein extraction uses water or water-based solutions to extract protein from insect biomass. This process is regarded as more environmentally friendly and is frequently preferred in applications where chemical solvents are avoided. Aqueous extraction is often gentler, keeping more of the protein's original structure. While it yields slightly lower protein concentrations than solvent-based approaches, it is preferred for creating insect protein with a more natural and minimally processed character. Aqueous extraction is appropriate for applications like protein flour, where nutritional integrity is critical.

Based on the distribution channel, the market is classified into Direct and indirect.

Direct channel occupies a significant share of the market.

Direct

In the direct distribution channel, insect protein products are sold directly from the producer or manufacturer to the final consumer. This could include selling products via the producer's website, physical stores, farmer's markets, or other direct-to-consumer channels. Direct distribution gives producers stronger customer relationships, allowing for direct marketing, instructional programs, and feedback collection. It is commonly used by smaller producers or those with a strong web presence.

The market can be bifurcated by source into Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Orthoptera, Hemiptera, and Diptand era.

Orthoptera commands the highest share of the market.

Orthoptera

Orthoptera includes insects such as grasshoppers, crickets, and locusts. This order provides substantial insect protein, particularly crickets and grasshoppers. Cricket and grasshopper species are commonly farmed due to their high protein content. Orthoptera-derived insect protein is widely used in food products such as snacks, protein bars, and protein flour. Crickets and grasshoppers are renowned insect protein producers due to their quick meal conversion into protein.

Market Size By Insect Type

Recent Developments

March 2023- Aspire Food Group was expanding the world's largest automated cricket production facility and sought a second commercial location.

April 2023- Ÿnsect collaboration with Lotte R&D will lead to increased protein creation in Asia.

Top Key Players

Aspire Food Group Ynsect NL Nutrition & Health B.V. EntomoFarms Chapul Cricket Protein Jimini's EnviroFlight LLC Swarm Nutrition GmbH AgriProtein Holdings Ltd Next Protein Inc. Innovafeed Others

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the growth rate for the Insect Protein Market?
Insect Protein Market size will grow at approx. CAGR of 27.1% during the forecast period.
Some of the top industry players in Insect Protein Market are, EntomoFarms, Aspire Food Group, Protifarm, Buhler Group, Insect Technology Group, Hermetia, Koppert Biological Systems, BioFlyTech, New generation systems, Protix, EXO, Coast Protein, etc.
Europe has held a dominant position in the Insect Protein Market, with the largest market share.
The Insect Protein Market has seen the most substantial growth rate in Asia-Pacific.
The global Insect Protein Market report is segmented as follows: By Insect Type, By Product, By Application, By Protein Extraction


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