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Exploring the challenges to upscale production capacity for the novel meat alternative sector within the United Kingdom

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ying YangORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Emerald Publishing Limited, 2021.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Purpose: This study aims to explore the barriers to upscaling the production capacity of the edible insect sector in the UK and to identify the impact of current regulation on the sector’s development. Design/methodology/approach: A significant proportion of edible insect companies within the UK were identified through an online market research database and contacted via email to invite them to participate in this study. Phone interviews were conducted with ten companies. Thematic analysis was adopted for data analysis. Findings: There were five themes identified as barriers to upscaling the production capacity for the edible insect sector in the UK: feeding materials, production capacity, expertise and knowledge, new product development and regulatory uncertainty. Research limitations/implications: This research was based on a qualitative study. Further quantitative research is needed to test the extent of the impact of these five themes on upscaling production capacity. In addition to production capacity, marketing and consumers’ acceptance, culture and behavior can also be considered in future studies. Originality: This study makes a significant contribution to the literature by providing insight on the barriers to upscaling production capacity in the edible insect sector.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Yang Y, Cooke C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Food Journal

Year: 2021

Volume: 123

Issue: 4

Pages: 1531-1545

Print publication date: 22/02/2021

Online publication date: 15/12/2020

Acceptance date: 03/11/2020

Date deposited: 03/11/2020

ISSN (print): 0007-070X

Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited


DOI: 10.1108/BFJ-04-2020-0310


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