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Revolutionising Animal Feed: Manufacturing Eco-Friendly Protein from Dried Insects

With the current farming methods causing environmental damage, L Marks partnered with a $50bn Fortune 500 strategic investment company to create a new venture that would manufacture eco-friendly protein from dried insects as a sustainable alternative to conventional soy and meat-based animal feed. Developed using the L Marks Intra-Lab,, this disruptive venture is targeting the global animal feed industry, valued at $500 billion.

Through the course of the intrapreneurship programme, L Marks delivered intensive customer validation training and workshops that allowed the client team to set business model assumptions and plans. We then conducted extensive research in South America across the entire supply chain, including insect sourcing, processing methods, quality control, and distribution channels. This research enabled us to identify strategic partnerships and gain insights into the technical viability of insect protein feed production. Leveraging this knowledge, we then created an early-stage digital mockup of the facility, which was tested with potential customers for feasibility sign-off. Valuable feedback on product acceptance and market readiness for insect protein feed was also obtained during this testing phase.

These insights were instrumental in refining the offering and shaping the venture’s go-to-market strategy. Additionally, a high-level financial model was developed to assess the venture’s commercial viability, ensuring informed decision-making. The team’s comprehensive research and development efforts established a thought out ecosystem for sustainable insect protein production and positioned the venture for success in the market. Through frequent 1:1 mentoring sessions with L Marks, the client team had specialist advice on-hand during the end-to-end process.

L Marks and the client team then conducted business model development to position themselves as disruptors in the animal feed industry. The aim was to offer a sustainable alternative that addresses environmental concerns while capitalising on the substantial market opportunity in the region.

The business model focused on expanding on key aspects such as identifying target customer segments within the animal feed industry, understanding partner relationships and optimising the cost structure for a long term high-CAPEX project. Additionally, the team considered the operational activities and resources required for insect protein feed production, as well as formal partnerships with suppliers and technology providers.

During the programme, the client team and L Marks identified potential barriers including gaining market acceptance. From this, we aimed to educate and create awareness among key stakeholders, highlighting the environmental and nutritional benefits of using insect protein feed over alternatives. These strategies were integrated into channels and distribution models to reach farmers, feed manufacturers, and distributors effectively.

With the final business model, we strategically engaged with existing market players, positioning ourselves for success and driving market adoption of being the sustainable alternative in the animal feed industry.

The venture achieved remarkable market validation, engaging with over 25 stakeholders across 13 countries. We signed 10 Letters of Intent from prominent customers, representing 53% of the feed market in Brazil. Our eco-friendly protein derived from dried insects demonstrated a strong demand, we solidified our position and set the stage for future collaborations. These metrics affirm the extensive impact and market recognition, propelling our continued growth and success with this project.

The project achieved success at the client Demo Day, highlighting the venture’s potential and support within the organisation. Subsequently, the venture was adopted internally to initiate a pilot project and continue its development. As a high-CAPEX initiative, the client team is currently in the planning stages for the development of large-scale infrastructure and we look forward to this venture delivering client a projected revenue growth of ~$104M AAR once operational in the next few years.