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Sustain#49: Coated Edible Insects

By | Sustain | No Comments

Sustain Weekly – Edible Insects

“The best learning takes place when the learner takes charge” — Seymour Papert

Which of these edible bugs will you be able to try?

  1. Candy Coated Flies
  2. Cricket Powder
  3. Worm Sucker Lollipop
  4. Roasted Hoppers
  5. Earthworm Jerky
  6. Fried Ant Nutri Bars
  7. Chilli Bug Paste

What do you mean yuck!?2 billion people in this world eat them! Did you know that? In fact, they are super popular in Thailand and Peru. They are also a part of traditional diets in Japan, China, and other countries.

Typically available in raw form in the east and Africa, edible insects are now available in a variety of consumable forms such as coated, powdered and paste. In the west, parts of Europe are beginning to buy it of stores. Some major food retailers are even; stocking them. You can even buy it off Amazon. In the US, the FDA holds the key for mass market adoption.But the major forces behind commercial edible insects is Gen Z and quicker trails for food discovery. A lot of tourism is now aimed at food. Australia is a classic example of food related tourism. 10 years back, the country did mass advertising for its coral reefs. Today those reefs are mostly dead. So, now it bases its tourism on kangaroos and cooking. You’ve seen how popular MasterChef has taken off right. In fact, it is one of the few countries (apart from France of course) where chef driven kitchens are popular. The trend is starting to die down in London and NY. Anyway lets get back to bugs!

Hipster trends and food discovery with a focus on sustainability drives a small group of early adopters into bug eating. Considering that edible bugs pack a punch in terms of protein when compared to chicken or beef, at least in terms of %/gm.

Not only that, the amount of water it takes to make commercially available, processed and packaged beef and chicken is a million times more than the resources that go into the harvesting of insects immaterial of whether they are farm or wild harvested.The global push for protein rich foods and the gradual loss of popularity for diets like Atkins will divert fitness conscious segments to look beyond Quinoa and kale etc.

Cricket flour is something that is creating a high level of ‘buzz’ in the food ecosystem at this point. In 2–3 years, this segment is set to grow over 200% across the globe and beyond that in developed parts of Europe. So, if you buy a box of cake flour that is advertised as highly nutritious, be prepared to notice the labelling more closely. Or better yet, ignore and use it. It might actually be good for you. Meanwhile, I’ll get back to squatting flies and mosquitos in our part of the world, where bug eating will meet very stringent food regulations, unless of course Reliance, Godrej, Tata or Birla like the market. But you, be ready for the future of food.

Some other things I found interesting from last week!

Pocket Bets

Once in a while, I’m going to make a small bet on a future trend. If you’ve played poker or even Teen Patti, you know how side bets work right? So, email me and we can wager a side bet. This week, I’m going to make a pocket bet on HPE getting acquired by a private equity firm in the next year. The unit looks stripped, culled, washed and marinated. Looks ripe for a nice venture kebab.

News @Arcluster

Arcluster is pleased to announce the publication of its latest market report on Edible Insects and Bugs. The 2016 market analysis and forecasting report aims at delivering the most comprehensive market study in the field of Entomophagy. The study also marks our foray into the consumer market oriented F&B report, reflecting our strong focus on micro emerging markets and sustainability driven growth avenues. The study can be procured here. For the latest news from the company, follow us on Twitter here, LinkedIn here and Like us on Facebook here.