Tyson Foods, a leading US meat producer, is venturing into the insect protein market. The company has invested in Protix, a Dutch firm that specializes in insect ingredients, and is collaborating with them to establish a US factory. The facility will utilize animal waste to feed black soldier flies, which will then be processed into food for pets, poultry, and fish. The financial details of the deal remain undisclosed.
The insect protein, while not intended for human consumption at this stage, is seen as a sustainable food source. A 2021 Rabobank report predicted that the demand for insect protein, primarily as an ingredient in animal feed and pet food, could surge to half a million metric tons by 2030, a significant increase from the current market of around 10,000 metric tons.
Tyson Foods, based in Springdale, Arkansas, does not manufacture pet food but sells its animal byproducts for use in the pet food and aquaculture market. The company sees the insect ingredient market as a promising growth area that could provide a larger revenue stream and help reduce waste.
The Growing Demand for Insect Protein
The insect ingredient market is expanding rapidly, with more startups entering the space due to the growing demand for insect protein. The partnership with Tyson Foods will enable Protix to scale up its operations and bring its solutions to a global stage.
Insect farming is considered more sustainable than traditional meat production, as it requires less land, water, and energy. Insects also consume waste that would otherwise be discarded, further reducing the environmental impact.
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