PARIS — Global insect producer Ÿnsect announced a large expansion of its business with an acquisition of Nebraska-based Jord Producers on March 29. The acquisition marks Ÿnsect’s foray into North American mealworm production and into the backyard chicken feed market.
Ÿnsect’s acquisition follows its first introduction into the US market in November 2021, in which the company began supplying insect-based protein to Seattle-based startup Pure Simple True LLC to produce premium dog food brand Bernie’s.
“We’re very excited to continue establishing our presence in the US, which is a priority market for Ÿnsect as we expand globally,” said Antoine Hubert, co-founder and chief executive officer, Ÿnsect.
With one of the largest vertical insect farms in France, Ÿnsect uses Buffalo and Molitor mealworms to develop high-quality sustainable protein and ingredients for use in pet and animal, plant and human foods. The company exports its insect products worldwide. According to the company, its mealworm production uses 98% less land and 45% fewer resources compared to livestock farming.
Co-founded by Cheryl Powers, Kris Vrooman and Amber Klassen, Jord Producers is one of the largest producers of mealworms in the US and will now use its capabilities to aid in Ÿnsect’s expansion.
“Having built Jord Producers from scratch over the last four years with co-founders Kris Vrooman and Amber Klassen, becoming experts in raising and distributing live and whole dried larvae to the backyard chicken market, Jord Producers is delighted to join the Ÿnsect family,” Powers said. “We’re confident that move will help us take the production of high-quality mealworms – something we’re so passionate about – to the next level.”
The acquisition will help Ÿnsect further expand into the US market and into the backyard chicken feed market. According to a study by consultancy Arthur D. Little, the backyard chicken feed market is experiencing significant growth and is expected to reach about $400 million in the US. Ÿnsect plans to meet the demand of the chicken feed market within the US by developing its own brand of mealworm chicken feed with help from Jord Producers.
“As an impact company, sustainability and support of the environment is at the top of our agenda,” Hubert said. “We were obviously very impressed with Cheryl’s entrepreneurial skills as she has become a pioneer in this industry in the heart of the Midwest. She co-founded Jord within the best agricultural region in the US, allowing easy, local access to raw materials. It was therefore an obvious choice for us.”
According to Jord Producers, mealworms provide benefits to livestock and other pets with a high protein content of about 72%. Mealworms are also highly digestible, hypoallergenic and have the potential to decrease skin diseases in animals.
In acquiring Jord Producers, Ÿnsect now has a total of three vertical farms and a hatchery, expanding its volume of mealworm larvae production, protein meal and oil for use in pet food.
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