According to the new market research report "Insect Protein Market by Insect Type (Crickets, Black Soldier Flies, Mealworms, Ants, and Grasshoppers), Application (Food & Beverages, Animal Nutrition (Aquafeed, Pet Food, and Poultry Feed), Pharmaceuticals & Cosmetics), Region – Global Forecast to 2025," published by MarketsandMarkets, the insect protein market is projected to reach $1.3 billion by 2025, from $144 million in 2019, at a CAGR of 45.0% during the forecast period. The market is driven by factors such as the shift in consumer preference from animal protein to alternative protein such as insect protein due to the increased concerns over future sustainability, and the increased public and private support for new insect protein development projects in both developed and developing economies.

Due to the resource sustainability associated with the consumption of insects as an alternative protein source in the feed industry, the demand for insect protein is the highest in the animal nutrition segment, by application.

Although consuming edible insects has been a tradition since ancient times across Southeast Asian countries, the development of insect-based protein is a recent innovation. Due to the "yuck" factor associated with insect-related products for human consumption, the application of insect protein has gained high acceptance in the feed industry. Fluctuating prices of fishmeal, declining production of fishmeal, and increasing dependence of Europe for animal-based protein (other than bone meal) for livestock nutrition encouraged manufacturers in the region to adopt insect-based protein for feed. Due to these factors, the animal nutrition segment recorded the fastest growth across the globe.

High acceptance of crickets in the food industry due to high protein content

Due to the high availability and acceptability of crickets and their high protein content, their usage in products, such as protein bars, is very high. Dried cricket powder contains 69% of protein, compared to sirloin beef (29%), dried beef (43%), and chicken (31%). It also contains nine essential amino acids, along with zinc, Vit. B12, iron, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium. Also, cricket flour acts as an alternative for milk, as it contains a high amount of calcium. The use of crickets is profitable in comparison with other livestock proteins, owing to the reduced expenses associated with rearing crickets. Crickets usually require around 2 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of meat, in which around 80% is edible, whereas, cattle require 8 kg of feed to produce the same amount of meat, out of which only 40% is edible.

North America and Europe dominated the insect protein market in 2018

Insects have been an integral part of the traditional diet in Southeast Asian countries; hence, the adoption of processed products such as insect protein in these countries has been low. The number of players venturing into this market has been high in Europe and North America. Majorly, countries such as France, the Netherlands, Germany, and the US have been accepting these products, Moreover, the recognition of insect protein as novel foods in the European and US markets and the legislative amendment to include insects as a part of feed and food material have boosted the growth opportunities for insect protein in these countries. Majority of the manufacturers are headquartered in these countries and, being small-scale players; their revenues are majorly concentrated in the domestic market. Thus, the market shares of North America and Europe dominated the global market in 2018.

This report includes a study of the development strategies, along with the product portfolios of the leading companies. Insect protein finds major applications in the food and feed industries, and hence, profiles of the major manufacturers of insect protein products for both food and feed applications have been covered in this report. The key companies in the insect protein market for food application include Aspire Food Group (US), EntomoFarms (Canada), Protifarm (Netherlands), Jimini's (UK), Chapul Cricket Protein (US), and Swarm Nutrition GmbH (Germany) while the key companies for the insect protein market the feed application include AgriProtein Holdings Ltd. (South Africa), EnviroFlight LLC (US), Innovafeed (France), Ynsect (France), Hexafly (Ireland), and Protix (Netherlands).