European pet food companies betting big on bugs
August 03, 2017
Curious Dog Sniffing Furry Worm Closeup

A few pet foods with insect protein have entered the market in Europe, as well as some pet treats there and in the US; yet regulatory, production and acceptance issues with insects have limited widespread usage. Several companies are betting big that’s about to change. For example, Bühler and insect supplier Protix formed a joint venture in early 2017 and, in July 2017, announced they’re building a plant in the Netherlands to process black soldier flies for pet food and animal feed (

Recent European regulatory updates may be an impetus: In late 2016, the EU Commission approved the use of insect protein in fish feed, a solid step. Protix sees other positive signals. “We are now marketing based on sustainability, which opens up more opportunities,” Tarique Arsiwalla, co-founder and director, told me during Petfood Forum Europe in June 2017.

Insects are earning a reputation for their low carbon footprint. Most can be fed with organic waste, can efficiently convert feed into protein and require little space to cultivate. Production is efficient, too. “Live insects are killed, then processed and become powder or lipid within minutes,” Arsiwalla said.


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