The global demand for insect-based protein, mainly as an animal feed and pet food ingredient, is expected to reach half a million tonnes by 2030. If realised, this level of demand would result in a substantial increase in global production, which currently stands at just 10,000t.

The figures are contained in a new report published by Rabobank, titled No longer crawling: Insect protein to come of age in 2020s.

Currently, the pet food market is the biggest market for insect protein and Rabobank expects it to remain one of the largest. However, the report outlines that the most promising market for future growth is in the aquafeed industry.

Beyond aquafeed formulas, Rabobank believes that there is potential to develop specialised inspect-based ingredients and products, likely even beyond feed and human food ingredients.

While producing insect-based protein has many positive sustainability aspects, high costs and prices are currently limiting market growth.

The price of insect protein today ranges between €3,500 and €5,500 per tonne, which is significantly higher than fishmeal and soya protein.