The market for edible insects is forecast to reach a global value of $1.2 billion by 2023. What might still sound somewhat unsavoury depending on your cultural origins, insects have already made their way onto menus across the United States and Europe. If you're ever in Houston, TX, there's a highly rated and centrally located restaurant serving up 'pan sautéed grasshoppers, guacamole, tortillas and a side of chipotle-tomatillo salsa'. Doesn't sound so bad, actually.
While edible insects are unlikely to become mainstream in the West in the near future, the market is clearly there in other parts of the world and the potential for expansion is massive. This might not be a purely profit-based trend, though. Experts predict that in the not too distant future, humans will need to consume insects to sustain population levels.
A UN report claims: "It is widely accepted that by 2050 the world will host 9 billion people. To accommodate this number, current food production will need to almost double. Land is scarce and expanding the area devoted to farming is rarely a viable or sustainable option. Oceans are overfished and climate change and related water shortages could have profound implications for food production. To meet the food and nutrition challenges of today – there are nearly 1 billion chronically hungry people worldwide – and tomorrow, what we eat and how we produce it needs to be re-evaluated."