01 Jul 2019

A new report by Barclays suggests insect protein could be an $8bn business by 2030

Will eating insects be the fashionable food of the future, and help provide a more sustainable and environmentally friendly source of protein in the process? Barclays think so, and predict that the insect protein market could be valued at $8bn by 2030.

With plant-based proteins making many of the headlines in 2019, the insect protein sector has been left in the shade. However, with a growing population, and with changing attitudes towards food from a younger generation Barclays suggests this will change in the coming years.

"We see plant-based meat alternatives as the current source of disruption within protein and in the longer term also see cultured meat as an option," Barclay's report reads. "However, we see future potential for insect protein to also be added to the menu — another alternative that has received less attention thus far."

Barclays points to how attitudes towards sushi changed as an example of how consumer tastes can transform, with people being initially reluctant to consume raw fish but having their attitude transformed when sushi became a 'fashionable' food. They believe that through similar means the mass-market could open up to insect protein alternatives.

"Once considered a weird and whacky food, part of sushi's transformation into the mainstream was helped by it trickling down from top-end restaurants through to the supermarket shelves," the report states. "We are starting to see this with insects as well, with insect-based restaurants such as Grub Kitchen in the UK and The Black Ant in New York."

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