Insects could feed growing global appetite for protein, says Euromonitor

By Caroline SCOTT-THOMAS contact

- Last updated on GMT

Barbecued skewered silkworms on sale in Asia. Could insects help meet growing demand for protein-rich foods?
Barbecued skewered silkworms on sale in Asia. Could insects help meet growing demand for protein-rich foods?

Related tags: Insects, Food and agriculture organization, Euromonitor international, Food and agriculture organisation

Euromonitor International is the latest organisation to back the potential of insects to help meet growing global demand for protein.

Last year, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) released its assessment​ of insects as food, concluding that despite their potential benefits to health, the environment and livelihoods around the world, Westerners’ ‘disgust factor’ was a major barrier to more widespread acceptance.

However, with 2bn people already regularly eating insects, Euromonitor describes them as a potential answer to food security concerns.

The market research organisation forecasts that consumer spending on meat will increase by 88% in emerging and developing countries up to 2030 – while it could increase by more than 25% in developed economies. Insects could be “a healthier alternative to fattier meat”,​ it said, while also being better for the environment and low-cost to farm.

What about the ‘disgust factor’?

“The most obvious challenge to insects becoming a viable food source for the future is that negative attitudes in Western cultures towards insects as food need to change,”​ said Media Eghbal, head of countries’ analysis at Euromonitor International in a company blog​.

She added that raising insects for animal feed may be more feasible than successfully introducing insect-containing foods to the market, although EU legislation would still need to be revised to allow the use of insects in feed.

“Insects could solve not just food security issues but also help with global emission reduction targets and to offset food price volatility during global shocks, which always impact the poorest the hardest as they spend the majority of their income on food as an essential item,”​ she wrote. “However, introducing insects to squeamish Western palates is likely to remain a challenge.”

For human consumption, insects are governed by novel food regulation in Europe, but researchers have suggested​ that insects are unlikely to require pre-market safety assessment, as many non-EU countries have already demonstrated a history of safe use.

For several years European researchers have been exploring the potential for insect protein as a way to meet increasing global demand for protein-rich foods, as insects use far less land than traditional meat or vegetable protein production, produce less waste and emissions, and are even capable of using waste as feed.

Related news

Related products

show more

Plant-based meat alternatives market motivators

Plant-based meat alternatives market motivators

DuPont Nutrition & Health | 01-Apr-2019 | Technical / White Paper

Market analysis shows steady growth in the plant-based meat alternatives segment over the past few years as consumers eat more plant-based foods. The reason...

High Protein Snacks: Beyond the Protein Bar

High Protein Snacks: Beyond the Protein Bar

International Dehydrated Foods | 06-Mar-2019 | Technical / White Paper

As snacking becomes more of an ingrained part of the American diet, it will be increasingly important for snacks to deliver nutrition benefits, including...

EGGS – A POTENT PROTEIN SOURCE

EGGS – A POTENT PROTEIN SOURCE

American Egg Board | 29-Oct-2018 | Technical / White Paper

Protein plays a prominent role in many food categories, but the question remains — which protein source is the best choice? Explore the depth of the protein...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars