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Recent News from MFG Tray

Insect Farming: The Buzz Around this Booming Market

Posted on July 14, 2023

Many animals eat insects as a core ingredient of their daily diet. With evolving demands on our food system, humans are no exception. Moreover, as the world shifts its collective focus toward sustainability, consuming insects is quickly gaining traction as a possible solution to feeding our ever-growing population.

And, with its growing acceptance comes a thriving market. The insect farming industry’s high compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is actually outpacing the fastest-growing industries in the United States, including CBD manufacturing, investment banking, and solar power.

As a leader in insect rearing trays, MFG Tray wanted to share why there is so much buzz around this booming industry. In this piece, we’ll look at a brief history of insect rearing, the estimated market growth during the next decade, and where to find the right equipment for farmers to be successful.

The History of Insect Rearing

Like many trends, what’s old eventually becomes new again. This pattern remains true for insect rearing. Except this time, it might be around to stay. Evidence shows that Neolithic farmers created apiaries to harvest honey and beeswax nearly 10,000 years ago.

It’s also well documented that various Indigenous groups ate grasshopper flour, insect fruitcakes, and fried cicadas, perhaps as far back as 20,000 B.C.E. We also know that they learned to attract and trap insects in great numbers, ensuring enough protein and fat for survival.

Fun fact: Entomophagy is the practice of eating insects.

It really wasn’t until the 19th century that stigmas developed around munching down on these six-legged critters. Much of the stigmatism around eating insects evolved out of European sensibilities. Not only did Western cultures believe the practice was abnormal, but they often thought it was downright repulsive. Meanwhile, dozens of countries, from Mexico and Brazil to China and Japan, have added bugs to their cuisine.

But times are changing. The insect farms that once primarily served pet food and bait markets are now gearing up to make products for livestock and humans.

A Growing Population Means a Big Opportunity

By 2050, it’s likely the earth’s population will reach nine billion people. Keeping this many mouths fed will put an enormous strain on the world’s food supply and, of course, the environment. However, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations asserts that edible insects may be a viable solution.

After all, they’re packed full of high-quality protein, vitamins, and amino acids. Insects have a high food conversion rate, meaning they need less food to grow than, say, cattle, sheep, or pigs. They also emit minimal greenhouse gasses, unlike conventional livestock. Even better, they can thrive on most of the organic matter that we throw away.

Start-ups are popping up worldwide to capitalize on this massive opportunity. Currently, economists estimate the edible insect market will reach $9.60 billion by 2030, equating to a 28.3% CAGR. By volume, researchers expect the edible insects market to record a CAGR of 31.1% from 2022 to 2030 to reach 3,139,035.10 tonnes by 2030.

Finding the Right Equipment for the Job

MFG Tray Insect Rearing Tray

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your insect farming equipment or just starting your entopreneurial venture, you need the right equipment to be successful and stay competitive. MFG Tray has a variety of trays and containers that entomologists use in all life cycles of insect farming.

Our trays feature proprietary stackable, interlocking designs with drop ends (or sides) to increase air circulation, allowing eggs, larvae, and pupae to grow faster. MFG Trays constructs its insect rearing trays out of fiberglass composite to handle severe and heavy-duty industrial environments, yielding a high return on investment (ROI). Some of the most common insects reared with our trays for various applications include:

  • Black soldier flies
  • Crickets
  • Mealworms
  • Silkworms
  • Waxworms

From home-grown farms to commercial enterprises, insect rearing facilities all over the world use our durable and dependable trays. Amazingly, many of our customers have kept their trays in service for over 15 years! Other benefits of our composite trays include:

  • Temperature Resistance: Our insect-rearing trays can withstand temperatures of -60 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (300 degrees intermittently). Moreover, they don’t absorb heat, eliminating the development of hot spots caused by larvae bundling together.
  • Impermeability: The material we use creates an impermeable surface, resistant to most mild acids, detergents, cutting oils and alkaline solutions in the pH range of 3.0 to 10.0. Our trays are also corrosion-resistant, preventing highly acidic insect waste from causing damage.
  • Formulated to meet UL-94 HB flammability rating: Our product’s self-ignition temperature is 830 degrees Fahrenheit, as measured by ASTM D-1929. Once ignited, trays will not have flaming drips like their thermoplastic counterparts.
  • Easily Cleaned: MFG’s composite material trays can be steam cleaned and sterilized within acceptable temperature ratings.
  • Stackability: With our trays’ dimensional stability and uniform sizing, they’re better for stacking than thermoplastic, wood, or metal alternatives. With our products, you’ll never have to worry about bending or sagging, even when carrying heavy loads. This dimensional stability also makes our products ideal for machine integration and robotic applications.
  • Modifiability: Our trays come specially designed with drop vents on two or all sides to increase air circulation, allowing for quicker drying and cooling of larvae, eggs, and pupae. However, there are cases in which our customers need modifications. To meet those needs, we have a variety of modification options, such as adding custom labeling, handles, dollys, and transportation/movement systems.

Get Ready to Grow Your Business

For four decades, insect farming facilities across the globe have used our durable and dependable trays. We offer a variety of sizes that are optimized for each stage of the life cycle. If you’re looking for insect farming equipment you can rely on, MFG Tray is for you. We also encourage you to let us know if there are any specific handling and design requirements, we can help you with. Learn more about our insect rearing trays or reach out today.


Leading manufacturer of high-strength, glass-reinforced composite containers, trays, boxes, flats and totes for material handling in the metal working, plastics and electronics assembly industries, as well as in food service, confectionery and pharmaceutical processing.

MFG Tray continually develops customized solutions for specific material-handling challenges and applications. Customers are encouraged to contact MFG Tray to discuss any unique handling and design requirements.


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