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The global insect protein market size was USD 153.92 million in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 189.32 million in 2022 to USD 856.08 million by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 24.1% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with insect protein experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 21.56% in 2020 as compared to 2019.”
Insects are an essential part of the everyday food intake for over 2 billion people worldwide. Apart from the high protein content, insects are a source of essential fats, high-quality lipids, fiber, vitamins, and minerals such as iron and calcium. The most used insect protein production is mealworms, black soldier flies, locusts, and crickets. While lipids can be used in biofuels and by-products such as chitin exhibit great potential in the pharmaceutical and bioplastic industries, insect-based proteins can be majorly used in food, pet food, fish, and animal feed.
Disruption of Supply Chain of Insect Protein amid COVID-19 to Hinder Growth
The impact of COVID 19 has affected most countries across the world. Lockdowns, owing to COVID-19 adversely affected the global insect protein market growth. The pandemic led to several challenges to the food sector; the meat market has been poorly hit globally. The risk of continuous production, supply, distribution, lack of workforce, and lesser development activities have concerned the insect feed market. On 11 March 2020, WHO characterized the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic after spreading to 114 countries. As a result, a potential shift in consumers' food choices might occur, particularly concerning food of animal origin. Therefore, it is projected that there will be a higher rejection to consume unusual foods of animal origin like insects. In the case of insects used for food and feed, there are also concerns about the risk of transmission of zoonotic infections to humans. Insects are known to carry viruses and infect humans through direct blood injection; however, it has not been reported that these viruses can be transmitted through ingestion.
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Next-generation Plant-based Meats to On-the-Go Protein Snacks Trend to Surge Demand for Alternative Protein Sources
The global protein market is evolving and growing as consumers' demand for protein rises. From next-generation plant-based meats to on-the-go protein snacks to dairy protein bioactive for sports performance, protein is everywhere for today's consumers. Buyers' increasing and strong interest in protein are developing new lucrative opportunities that touch on the functional benefits of diverse proteins, protein diversity in the diet, and new protein sources. With the increasing global population and welfare, the demand for protein as a food-nutritional component rises sharply. Due to the increasing necessity of alternative protein among food & beverage manufacturers to fulfill consumers' increasing demand, the adoption of insect-based protein has been growing in the food & beverages segment.
Increasing Demand for Alternate Proteins to Fuel Market Growth
This market is driven by factors such as rising urbanization, growing venture investments in alternative protein companies, innovation in food technology, the high nutritional value of edible insects, and environmental sustainability with the production & consumption of alternate protein. Moreover, new product launches and growing inclination toward a vegan diet further propel the market growth. However, the high cost of alternate proteins and considerable preference for animal-based products restrain the market growth to some extent. On the other hand, growing gluten-free and soy-free trends challenge the global alternative proteins market.
High Protein Content in Insects and Growing Applications Surge Demand for Insect Protein
Insects are a more useful source of protein compared to other plants and animals. Rearing insect protein is less costly. In the initial stage, the insect-based protein was used only as an element for animal food. But with rising awareness about the high protein content in insects, it has been extensively used across distinguished industries. Nowadays, insect-based protein is used in numerous products such as food & beverages, medicines, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, pet food, and animal, aquafeed, & poultry feed. Insect protein varies on the distinguished species. Insect-based protein is the most suitable alternative for protein.
High-Cost Constraint Market Growth
Insect protein is one of the unique, promising animal feed proteins, owing to its functional, environmental, and nutritional benefits. However, high costs, legislation, and limited production capacity remain the main restraining factors for growth. Insect-based proteins are still expensive to produce; the equipment and procedures required to make them need optimization for large-scale production. Few consumers are inclined to pay higher prices for the health and environmental benefits of protein derived from insects, but numerous are priced out of this market.
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Orthopetra Holds Largest Market Share due to its High Protein Content among Other Insect Types
The orthoptera segment holds the most significant insect protein market share. Orthoptera is an order of insects that comprises grasshoppers, locusts, and crickets, including closely related insects such as bush crickets or katydids and weta. Grasshoppers, in particular, can contain up to 77% protein, which has made them a go-to option for many insect-based companies. However, crickets and mealworms also remain popular choices, especially in the Europe market.
On the other hand, the usage of coleoptera grows at a significant share. Coleoptera refers to the insect order consisting of beetles and weevils. It is the largest order of insects representing about 40% of the species. Edible beetles have been traditionally consumed in various countries, owing to their high protein content. Mealworms are typically utilized to extract powders that find application in pet food and animal feed industries. The rising demand for mealworm ingredients in these end-use industries is expected to create growth opportunities for the prominent players operating in the market.
Animal Feed Sector to hold Largest Market Share due to Numerous Health Benefits
Insect protein is utilized in powders or liquid in animal feed additives to provide essential nutrition to animals to help in their overall growth. When added to feed mixtures, it aids in improving the rate of weight gain in animals, preventing diseases and vitamin deficiencies and improving feed digestion and conversion. Protein derived from insect use in animal feed provides various nutritious ingredients, including amino acids necessary for muscle building, vitamins, and minerals. Insect-based protein can be utilized to manufacture aquafeed, pet feed, and other product types of animal feed products.
Europe Insect Protein Market Size, 2021 (USD Million)
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Europe to Exhibit Highest Growth due to Emerging Product Demand for Human Consumption
Europe accounted for the largest market share in 2021 and is anticipated to witness leading over the forecast period. The region is considered to be a prominent market for insect-based protein. It is among the major ingredients consumed in food applications across the old-age and middle-age consumers in Europe. Insect-based protein is principally used for nutritional supplements in the region. However, Europe is yet to realize its full potential in the beverages space. Growing demand for insect-based protein in major markets, including the U.K. and Germany on account of the growing importance of fiber-fortified products is expected to influence market growth positively, though at a slower rate, owing to the maturity of industries.
Insect protein is significantly used in animal feed; however, the demand for insect-based protein for human consumption is expected to grow at a high growth rate, owing to the growing health consciousness among consumers. Insect-based proteins in feed products witness increasing demand in Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America. However, the lack of proper regulations concerning the use of insect-based protein in the feed industry can be a key hindrance to the growth of the industry.
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Asia Pacific is expected to register the fastest growth, owing to growing exports and domestic demand for insect-based protein ingredients. China is one of the largest markets of insect-based protein due to the easy availability of raw materials. In addition, growth in pharmaceuticals and food & beverage industries is likely to propel the demand for insect-based protein in emerging economies such as India, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, and South Korea over the next few years.
Companies to Focus on Growth in their Production Capacity to Meet Global Demand
The market is concentrated and competitive with various large-scale and small-scale manufacturers present in the market. Aspire Food Group Protifarm, EntomoFarms, Chapul Cricket Protein, Jimini’s, Swarm Nutrition GmbH, EnviroFlight LLC, AgriProtein Holdings Ltd. Ÿnsect, Hexafly, Innovafeed, and Protix are the prominent market players. These key players are focusing on the increase of their production capacity to meet the global demand.
An Infographic Representation of Insect-based Protein Market
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The insect protein market report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading applications of the product. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.
Value (USD Million)
By Product Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the value of the market was USD 153.92 million in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 856.08 billion by 2029.
Growing at a CAGR of 24.1%, the market will exhibit steady growth over the forecast period (2022-2029).
The orthopetra segment is expected to be the leading segment based on product type in the global market during the forecast period.
Rising consumer awareness regarding alternate protein is a key factor driving the market.
Aspire Food Group, EnviroFlight LLC, and Proteifarm are a few key players.
Europe is expected to hold the highest market share in 2020.
Food and beverages application is expected to grow at a faster rate.
Growing application of insect protein is a major growth factor of the market.
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