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According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nation, the world’s population will grow to around 9 billion people by 2050, resulting in higher consumption of food from animal origin and, therefore, increased demand for protein to feed livestock. Insects are highly suitable to be used as feed due to their high nutritional values, and because they are naturally a part of some livestock diets. Besides, insect feed is a sustainable addition to conventional feed, as insects are reared on waste streams and can generate diversified livelihood incomes. These factors are predicted to drive the global insect feed market.
The insects are consumed naturally by many animals, including fish, wild birds, and free-range poultry, so it can be assumed that these animals are evolutionarily adapted to eating them as a part of their regular diet. Hence, it seems reasonable to consider insect proteins as a plausible commercial feed source. In addition, the increasing utilization of insects as novel feed additives to improve gut health has also attracted consumer interest, because they contain bioactive components, such as lauric acid, antimicrobial peptides, and chitin, which have immune-boosting properties. The prominent market players are embarking upon the research and development of innovative insect feed products to increase their footprint in the global market.
Increasing population, changing diets, and increasing demand for food (particularly meat, fish, and eggs) has led to an augmented need for additional supplies of protein from sustainable sources for inclusion in animal feed which is further predicted to boost the demand for insect feed in the forthcoming years. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nation, livestock production accounts for 70 percent of all agricultural land use. The global demand for livestock products expected to more than double between 2000 and 2050 (from 229 million tonnes to 465 million tonnes), meeting this demand will require innovative animal feed solutions. Therefore, the opportunity for insects to help meet rising demand in animal feed products and replace fishmeal and soymeal is enormous. Furthermore, Insects are cold-blooded and they are very efficient at converting feed into protein. For instance, crickets need 12 times less feed than cattle, four times less feed than sheep, and half as much feed as pigs and broiler chickens to produce the same amount of protein. Moreover, Insects can be fed on organic waste streams. In the quest for more sustainability in long-term animal production, the search for alternative ingredients is essential. The conventional ingredients such as soybean meal, wheat, corn, and animal meal have large price swings and exponentially high values which is projected to boost the demand for their alternative insect feed during the forecast period.
The stringent rules and regulations associated with the launch of new insect feed is anticipated to restrain the market growth in forthcoming years. For instance, the European approach to insects as feed is greatly affected by the issue of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), which poses a serious threat to consumer health and safety. Moreover, in many regions, the absence of clear legislation and norms guiding the use of insects as feed is one of the major limiting factors hindering the industrial development of insects feed.
Key Market Driver -
High Feed Conversion Ratio of Insects
Key Market Restraint -
Stringent Rules and Regulation
The prominent players operating in the global insect feed market are AgriProtein Nutrition, Diptera Feed, Enterra, Entomo Farms, Intrexon Crop, Hexafly, HiProMine, Innova Feed, Kulish, MealFood Europe, Proti-Farm, Protix, and Others.
Mealworms are expected to hold a significant share in the global insect feed market as they contain a considerable amount of copper, sodium, potassium, iron, zinc selenium, and vitamin. For instance, mealworms have generally higher vitamin content than beef, with the exception of vitamin B12. The abundant availability of mealworms coupled with the nutritional content of it is anticipated to boost the uses of mealworms from the insect feed industry. Moreover, Fly larvae contain a relatively high amount of protein and fat, which makes them a suitable source of feed for livestock but also for fish. Besides, they are naturally found in poultry, pig and cattle manure, but can also occur on organic wastes such as coffee bean pulp, vegetables, catsup, carrion, and fish offal. The abundant availability of fly larvae is anticipated to increase their utilization in the production of insect feed.
Aquaculture is anticipated to hold a considerable share in the global insect feed market. Livestock and fish are important sources of protein in most countries. Fish production and consumption has increased dramatically in the last few decades. As a consequence, the aquaculture sector has boomed and now accounts for nearly 50 percent of world fish production which is anticipated to boost the demand for insect feed from the aquaculture segment. Moreover, rising demand for farmed fish across the world has led to a rise in prices of fishmeal and fish oil which is anticipated to increase the demand for viable protein-rich options for aquafeed. Furthermore, the increasing popularity of pig and poultry meat among the population is anticipated to increase the production of pig and poultry which is expected to leverage the sale of insect feed positively.
The overall growth of the insect-rearing sector in North America has particularly related to the growth of the Hawaii Insects producing companies within the region. The increasing production of Hawaii insects (insects found in Hawaii - Hawaii is a state of the United States of America located in the Pacific Ocean) coupled with the rising utilization of Hawaii insects for the production of insect feed are predicted to drive the insect feed production within the region. For instance, in Canada- in 2016, the use of HI larvae was authorized for chicken feed, and in 2017, it was authorized for use in aquaculture. In 2018, the authorization was extended to all poultry.
Asia Pacific is anticipated to witness robust growth in the global insect feed market owing to the increasing demand for insect feed from China and South Korea. The increasing population, increasing wealth, and urbanization is creating changes in consumption patterns, lifestyles, and food preferences of Asians, leading to an increase in animal protein demands. This will affect the demand for livestock feed and inevitably place heavy pressure on already limited resources for animal feed which is expected to boost the utilization of insect feed within Asia Pacific.
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