Eating Bugs on Purpose: Challenges and Opportunities in Adapting Insects as a Sustainable Protein


When we think of insects, “yummy” is not generally a top-of-mind descriptor. The emerging industry of edible insects is seeking to change that. Insects raised for human consumption offer a versatile protein source, while requiring fewer natural resources (water, land, and energy) and producing less emissions than other traditional animal protein sources. Yet the edible insect industry faces a number of challenges in overcoming negative associations, gaining acceptance as an alternative protein source, and obtaining wider retail distribution. This case explores the opportunities and dilemmas faced by the edible insect industry from sustainability, innovation, and consumer behavior perspectives, as it endeavors to grow demand for this environmentally beneficial but generally undesired food source. A central question emerges for entrepreneurs: What is the best marketing strategy to increase consumer adoption and maintain competitive advantage in this new food sector?

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

2023 Sage Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved

You are not authorized to view Teaching Notes. Please contact your librarian for access or sign in to your existing instructor profile.
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles