https://us10.campaign-archive.com/?u=2280c326d6dfb3ba9b543d6d3&id=b7325438d1#6 - May 2021
“Ÿnsect, the world leader in natural insect protein, has acquired Protifarm, the global leader in mealworm ingredients for human applications.” That's the first sentence in the press release that announces a merger that I would say has big consequences for the edible insect sector in Europe. French Ÿnsect, which Sifted correctly calls “Europe’s best funded insect-farming business,” has acquired Protifarm, one of Europe's most experienced insect-farming businesses. 40 years in the business and 37 patents to add to Ÿnsects portfolio. But Ÿnsect also acquires Protifarms ambitious work with insects for human consumption and their textured insect food ingredient “AdalbaPro” (which Bugburger wrote about a year ago). When Ÿnsect specialises in mealworms (Tenebrio Molitor), Protifarm has put all its bets on the buffalo worm (Alphitobius diaperinus), a slightly smaller relative to the mealworm. And Ÿnsect can now also be happy to have access to Protifarms Novel Food Application that might get a greenlight from EFSA the upcoming year.
All in all a big shift in the industry, and I can’t help wondering about who will compete with this big player? It would be great to see more investments in competing companies. And especially in companies working on insects for human consumption. Looking at the Novel Food applications submitted to EFSA, maybe Fair Insects, owned by dutch company Protix could be a contender? Or will Micronutris that made the mealworm application that got a green light from EFSA raise money and ramp up its business? Or maybe a company that has contributed to BIIF (Belgian Insect Industry Federation) applications will make a move. I know that Swedish mealworm breeding company Tebrito are looking at expanding their operation.
Looking beyond mealworms and crickets there is one really interesting outsider contender: Danish Enorm Bio Factory that made a Novel Food Application for Hermetia meal (grounded dry BSF larvae). Not a culinary winner, but maybe the cheapest alternative to provide good insect proteins.
Ÿnsect+Protifarm is sure the biggest player at the moment, but this is really still only the beginning of the edible insect industry.
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