Feeding the world’s overflowing human population will continue to exert burden on the planet’s food production capacity. Limited land and adverse weather conditions have confined the global cultivation of crops to such an extent that food manufacturers are conniving strange ways to put forth new edible products. And, consuming insects is one such peculiar mode of meeting the world’s rising food consumption levels. Regardless of how hungry one is, the concept of ‘edible insects’ as food is most likely to hold back every other person from consuming them. Although, after eating them, the person is more likely to find that juicy bug larvae quite tasty!
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Outlook of Global Edible Insects Market
Owing to such growing desires of eating more bugs, the growth of the global market for edible insects is already gaining pace, accounting for US$ 772.9 Mn at a CAGR of 6.1% over the forecast period 2016-2024. Global F&B leaders and venture capitalists are paying heed to the emergence of edible insects market. Rising investments in companies that manufacture food products derived from edible insects are influencing a probable paradigm shift in food production sector. While some regions show reluctance in consuming food products from edible insects, the consumption of mealworms and other worm-like insects is becoming a staple food and good source of protein for people living in the Republic of Ghana.
Key Trends Influencing Consumption of Edible Insects
While consumption of edible insects as food, also known as entomophagy, is commonly practiced in China and other Southeast Asian countries, other parts of the world are now developing interests in consuming edible bugs owing to some key influential trends such as,
• Nutritional quotient of edible insect products: Compared to milk, 100 grams of cricket is rich in fat, and proteins and supply higher calories to our daily diet.
• Novelty: Once consumers ready themselves for consuming bugs, the demand for tasty mealworms almost never curtails.
• Buying insect food online: Sale of cricket protein bars and chocolate chip cookies is observing rise on leading e-commerce websites such as Amazon.
Viable alternative for pet food and easy preparation methods are also recognised as the key trends influencing the consumption of edible insects around the world. Several startups are developing their product portfolio by fashioning some innovative food products containing edible insects as well as existing food delicacies.
Edible Insects: Food of the Future
Over two billion people in the world are estimated to eat insects on a regular basis. Insects, in general, are the most populous species on the planet, which means that there will never be shortage of supply. Considering this two aspects, the eating habits in every part of the world are more likely to adopt edible insects in their diet, sooner or later.
Cultural diversity, food processing methods, farming systems, and varying consumption regulations will continue to augment the global edible insects market in the future as well. Nevertheless, there is no denying that consuming insects as food has a huge potential of benefiting the human health globally. A relief to the stressed farming and conventional food production system will also positively impact the adoption of insect food. People following mineral diet might be interested in consuming healthier grubs, while the global non-vegan population may embrace insect consumption; considering how it will curb the excessive meat slaughter and yet provide surplus protein intake. Looking beyond the idea of eating icky insects will be the most important prospect for shaping up the future of edible insects as a practical option for food.
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