PARIS — Insect protein producer Ÿnsect announced significant expansions to its operations on Dec. 13. The insect-based ingredient producer plans to construct its second insect farm in the United States and its first farm in Mexico.
The company anticipates that construction on the US facility will begin by the end of 2023. The new facility will expand the company’s sustainable, carbon-negative production capabilities that convert Molitor and Buffalo mealworms into fertilizer for plants, oils for consumption by pets and livestock, and protein for human foods.
“Mealworm protein is the only one in the world available on the market that can combine not only performance and health, but also natural origin and sustainability,” said Antoine Hubert, chief executive officer of Ÿnsect. “Insect protein is more sustainable and will open a new mode of food development that is efficient, nutritious and capable of positively impacting the food chain at multiple points.”
The US facility furthers Ÿnsect’s presence in the North American mealworm production market. The company made its first foray into the US market in November 2021 through a partnership with a dog treat product. The company then opened its first US facility in March 2022, which it acquired from Jord Producers.
The US site will initially focus on the production of the company’s pet food protein concentrate, for which Ÿnsect filed for approval with Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) in November 2021.
In addition to the US expansion, Ÿnsect is also exploring potential flour and ingredient synergies with Ardent Mills.
“We see many synergies with Ÿnsect — as we both strive to transform the way the world is nourished,” said Angie Goldberg, chief growth officer for Ardent Mills. “We are excited to be exploring potential sustainable food and ingredient opportunities with Ÿnsect, a company that has developed a unique expertise in insect-based ingredient production.”
In addition to its US expansion plans, Ÿnsect signed an exclusive Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Corporativo Kosmos, a leading food service business in Mexico, to jointly develop an insect farm in Mexico.
Corporativo Kosmos has extensive experience in construction, logistics, sourcing and securing feedstock, as well as key business knowledge of the Mexican market. Hubert and Corporativo Kosmos’s Chief Executive Officer Jack Landsmanas signed the JDA in November 2022. The agreement furthers Ÿnsect’s two-year long collaboration with the food business.
“We are very pleased to be actively continuing our collaboration with Ÿnsect, a company that has developed unique expertise in insect production,” Landsmanas said. “We are excited about the development of an insect farm site in Mexico and we believe that the combination of both our capabilities, will result in a stronger product mix and a successful partnership.”
According to Ÿnsect, Mexico is a leading consumer of insects and insect-based proteins and also offers proximity to the United States, which could potentially serve as the largest future market for insect proteins.
“We are excited to join forces with Corporativo Kosmos, we know their feed will give substance to our projects and their real estate expertise will accelerate our plans and development,” Hubert said. “We aim to reinvent the global food system with a focus on sustainability. This is why we choose to establish ourselves locally on all continents, to limit our CO2 emissions across our farming activities.”
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