While insect protein is still trying to overcome the yuck factor among consumers, there’s an opportunity for pet food to focus on the health credentials and environmental benefits of insects, according to Mintel analyst Alice Baker.
Alice says: “Insects are a complete protein that contains all nine essential amino acids as well as important minerals, making it nutritionally comparable with meat and fish. Additionally, they are being touted as the future for sustainable proteins. This is because insect farming is significantly less demanding on the environment compared to traditional meats: it uses less water, needs less land and generates fewer greenhouse gases. Insects are thus well placed to sate the current strong consumer demand for protein-rich foods from a nutritional and sustainability point of view – both for them and their pets.
“Start-up Yora launched the UK’s first dog food made from insects in January 2019, with insects making up 40% of the product’s protein. Other ingredients include oats, potatoes and ‘natural botanicals’.
The current version comes in the form of dried pellets, with plans to launch wet food later in the year. Yora promotes the use of insects as a more environmentally sustainable option, citing a scientific study that estimates that pets account for 20% of global meat and fish consumption.
“A handful of brands in Germany, such as Yummeez Solo and Green Petfood, have also launched insect-based pet food products. (Green Petfood and Yora were both showcased at PATS Sandown).
“Pet food would seem to be an obvious fit for insect protein, being less likely to trigger feelings of disgust than such products made for human consumption. However, interest is still low – partly due to lack of familiarity with the concept. Mintel research on pet food shows that in the UK, only 11% of pet owners are interested in buying pet food made with insect protein, rising to 16% of under 35s. This suggests manufacturers will need to push the merits of using insects in order to win over consumers.”
To read the full report visit http://www.mintel.com/blog/food-market-news/is-insect-protein-the-future-of-pet-food