Global Edible Insects Market size is poised to exceed $522 million by 2023, according to the latest research report by Global Market Insights Inc. The increase in market size can be contributed to the increasingly positive outlook on insect or bug consumption, as a healthy, alternative and sustainable protein source, which drives demand.
Beetles dominated demand, valued at $9.7 million in 2015. Key human consumption patterns involve the use of insects as a whole or in powder form for flour, protein bars and other snacks. Grasshoppers, locusts and crickets could see significant demand gains, estimated at more than 42 percent CAGR up to 2023. Pet foods have seen increasing use of grasshoppers as dried, whole or frozen form for fish, turtles, birds and pets.
Other ways edible insects have become popular are in food products that use cricket, mealworm and grasshopper powders that are rich in protein content, having all essential mineral and amino acids. Black soldier fly larvae and maggots are considered as substitutes in fishmeal feed in aquaculture industry, and are consumed either whole or as processed meal. Grasshoppers, beetles, crickets, cockroaches, termites, scale insects, flies, bees, wasps and ants are food sources for poultry, which may also fuel edible insects’ market growth.
A robust and clearly define regulatory guideline for registration, classification and commercialization of insect-based foods will be critical for the industry to evolve. Presently, while bug-based foods are sold across the U.S. as well as EU, participants are somewhat in the dark with respect to labelling and selling guidelines; however, the edible insects market share is fairly competitive. HaoCheng Mealworm Inc., AgriProtein EnviroFlight, and Kreca are among major industry players, and other significant companies include Griopro, Proti-Farm, Chapul Inc., Eat Grub, Bitty Foods, Micronutris, Edible Inc., and Thailand Unique.
An INSIDER blog post looked at the edible insects market, specifically at how insects are an adequate source of protein for athletes. For more insight on insect protein, an INSIDER video examined insect protein as a sustainable animal alternative to meat and dairy. Also, be sure to check out INSIDER’s report, “Putting the Protein in Dog Food,” for more information on edible insects being used as protein for pets.