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Investors Are Eyeing Insect Protein (and Its $8 Billion Market) as the Next Fake Meat

Plus, Grubhub coughs up $10,000 in restitution to a restaurant, and more food news to start your day

hands holding burger with fried bugs visible in the patty
Burger made of fried insect meat.
Photo: CK Bangkok Photography/Shutterstock

The edible insect market could be worth $8 billion by 2030

After the explosive popularity of plant-based “meat” like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, it’s only a matter of time before bugs reclaim their own spot on the dinner table. According to Meticulous Research data cited in a new Barclays report, insect protein is poised to become an $8 billion business by 2030, reports Insider. (For reference, Barclays predicts the plant-based meat market could grow from $14 billion to $140 billion over the next 10 years.)

2 billion people in more than 113 countries around the world already eat insects, according to a paper in the peer-reviewed journal Food Quality and Safety. The market has already seen some edible insect companies, but per Barclays, eating bugs will only become more common as the global population grows and as Gen Z — the “most health-aware and environmentally conscious” generation — seeks alternatives to traditional meat. It will likely be normalized to Americans the same way sushi and fake meat have been: by first appearing on the menus of higher-end, independent restaurants, and then trickling down to supermarket shelves.

Larger companies have duly taken notice: Insider notes that Tyson has included the demand for cricket protein in a list of food trends, while Nestle said it is conducting research and development into insect species. With a potential $8 billion on the table, it may not be long before munching on fried crickets becomes as quotidian as ordering a fake-meat burger.

And in other news…

  • Grubhub — which has faced an ongoing lawsuit over allegations that the company bills restaurants for phone calls placed through the app, even ones that didn’t result in an order — reportedly refunded a New York restaurant $10,000 for erroneous charges going all the way back to 2014. [NY Post]
  • Serena Williams has finally been given the long-overdue honor of getting her own Wheaties box. The last time the cereal, known as “The Breakfast of Champions,” featured a black female tennis player on its box was 18 years ago. [The Cut]
  • New Jersey has banned betting on the annual Nathan’s hot dog eating contest, which takes place at Coney Island on the fourth of July. [NY Post]
  • On the one hand, there are all the trend reports on millennials and sobriety. On the other, here’s the Journal waxing poetic on the morning cocktail. [WSJ]
  • McDonald’s Israel is introducing vegan burgers. [Globes]
  • Late Night With Seth Meyers explores what the tiny voice in the back of Donald Trump’s head thinks about during dinner. [YouTube]
  • Dunkin’ now serves Hersey’s and Heath bar iced coffee. [Popsugar]
  • Just some light celeb trivia for you:

All AM Intel Coverage [E]