Insect protein company Ynsect opens first mealworm farm in US
Jord Producers, based in Nebraska, has been incorporated into Ÿnsect’s production portfolio, signifying the global leader’s entry into North American mealworm production.
The move comes off the back of Ÿnsect’s introduction to the US market in November 2021, when it announced it would be supplying high value-added protein to Seattle WA start-up Pure Simple True, selling ultra-premium and luxury food for dogs under the brand Bernie’s.
With the world’s largest vertical insect farm in France, Ÿnsect transforms Buffalo and Molitor mealworms into premium, high-value, sustainable ingredients to feed animals, fish, plants and humans. Having raised around $450 million from renowned investment funds, banks and public institutions, Ÿnsect exports its products worldwide.
The acquisition of Jord Producers, one of the US biggest mealworm producers, not only reflects Ÿnsect’s continued expansion into the US market, but also its entry into the backyard chicken feed market. As Americans spent more time at home during the pandemic, the backyard chicken market saw significant growth. By 2026, the US market is predicted to reach approximately $400M according by a recent study by Arthur D. Little.
Over the last two years, the number of Americans rearing chickens has increased to around 26 million (8% of the population), allowing them to enjoy fresh eggs, keep their gardens free of pests, as well as the enjoying company of a new pet. Emerton studies showed that mealworms are the insect of choice among US backyard chicken owners, with 82% preferring mealworms versus other insects. Recent trials conducted by Ÿnsect have shown increased performance on egg size. Ÿnsect is looking forward to providing its high-quality products for this market under its own brand.
Antoine Hubert, CEO and co-founder of Ÿnsect commented, “We’re very excited to continue establishing our presence in the US, which is a priority market for Ÿnsect as we expand globally. As an impact company, sustainability and support for the environment is at the top of our agenda. We were obviously very impressed with Cheryl’s entrepreneurial skills as she has become a pioneer in this industry in the heart of the Midwest. She cofounded Jord within the best agricultural region in the US, allowing easy, local access to raw materials. It was therefore an obvious choice for us.”
Mealworms like those produced at Jord offer significant benefits to livestock and pets alike: very high protein content (72% protein), highly digestible, hypoallergenic and the potential to decrease skin diseases. Mealworms contain all the amino acids a chicken needs for optimal development, and incorporation into chickens’ diets has been linked to increased health, with decreased pathogens and improved resistance to stress.
Cheryl Powers, CEO of Jord Producers, added: “Having built Jord Producers from scratch over the last four years with co-founders Kris Vrooman and Amber Klassen, becoming experts in raising and distributing live and whole dried larvae to the backyard chicken market, Jord Producers isdelighted to join the Ÿnsect family. We’re confident that move will help us take the production of high-quality mealworms – something we’re so passionate about – to the next level.”
With the incorporation of Jord Producers in Nebraska, Ÿnsect’s production portfolio grows to three vertical farms and one hatchery. The integration of Jord Producers will eventually allow Ÿnsect to significantly increase volumes of mealworm larvae production and will also help pave the way into further entries into the petfood market, with ingredients like protein meal and oil expected to be approved for production in the near future in North America.
By using Ÿnsect’s ingredients instead of other types of protein for pet food, manufacturers benefit from using 98% less land and 45% fewer resources than traditional livestock farming. Furthermore, Ÿnsect is dedicated to promoting sustainable manufacturing. The company utilizes a circular-economy model through its new vertical farms to create value chains fully aligned with the Paris COP21 Agreements +1.5°C scenario, and the EU Fit for 55 target.