Insect-based proteins for pets

683 respondents - Pet food - January 2020
A recent survey among pet owners shows that lack of knowledge is the main reason for their hesitation in accepting insect proteins in pet food and snacks.

Conscious shopping

Between 40 and 50% of the pet owners surveyed say that they read the ingredients list when purchasing pet food in an attempt to stay informed about what they give to their pets. They are concerned about everything their pets consume. More than 60% of the pet parents indicate that, when it comes to their pet’s food, ingredients are significantly more important than brand and prices. This means that they are most focused on ensuring that the composition of the food is right for their pets.The topic of sustainability is at the bottom of their list of priorities.

Consumer misconceptions

As far as the pet owners surveyed are concerned, insects are not particularly rich in proteins compared to other, more conventional protein sources. This is in stark contrast to the results of the latest scientific research, which concludes that insects are the most protein-rich of all protein sources and thus are most efficient from the perspective of protein harvesting.

Studies also show that insects have the highest conversion rate from feed to proteins and are thus more sustainable than proteins from meat, eggs or fish. However, the results of the survey demonstrate that pet parents are not entirely convinced that insect-based animal feed can play a role in protecting the environment.

Health risks

The survey also shows that more than half of the pet owners believe that insect-based ingredients could pose a health risk to their pet in terms of allergens, bacteria and a lack of hygiene. This once again goes against the latest research, which claims that proteins professionally derived from insects are sterilely produced and thus pose a negligible health risk. Perhaps unsurprisingly based on these findings, an average of 73% of the pet parents surveyed feel that they do not know enough about insect-based foods.


In response to the question of whether the respondents would be willing to eat an insect-based diet themselves, the majority of them indicate that it is less than likely. This is in line with the contemporary trend of humanisation; they will not give their pets what they are not prepared to eat themselves.Consumers are not fully aware of all the possible advantages that insect proteins could offer, both to the industry and to consumers and their pets. Therefore, before insect proteins can fulfil their true potential and achieve the success they deserve, there is still considerable work to be done in educating consumers.

Facts and figures

The survey contained 15 questions and was conducted among 683 respondents throughout France, the UK and the US. The survey was targeted at cat and dog owners over a period of eight days.