If edible insects are to take off, they have to be more affordable


“Thanks to the internet and social media, consumers all over the world are learning about and accepting new foods much more quickly,” ​co-founder Bicky Nguyen told FoodNavigator-USA.

Of​ course crickets won’t completely replace traditional animal proteins, but they are another option, and if prices come down, attitudes will change,” ​predicted Nguyen, who co-founded Cricket One​ about two years ago and started commercial production around six months ago.

“Right now, if you are a small US snack food manufacturer, for example, and you’re buying cricket powder from a US or Canadian supplier, you are still paying $20-25 a pound. If you buy from a European company, you are probably paying 70-120 euros per kilo ​[roughly $39-67/lb]. Prices have dropped a bit in the last few years, but not significantly, because production systems aren’t very scalable and costs are high.

“Our product is much more competitive. US customers buying our product through a distributor are typically paying less than half of that, but our products meet the highest quality standards. We have a minimum of 68% protein and we monitor and trace every single batch of production, for safety and quality and nutritional values.

“Our ambition is to be the leading premium supplier in this market and to make cricket protein more affordable and accessible to the mass market.”

We have compacted a 100sq m traditional cricket farm into a 40ft climate-controlled container

The secret to Cricket One’s success relates to a business model that utilizes by-products from cassava – a major crop in Vietnam – as food for crickets, and a series of abandoned shipping containers that it has kitted out as intensive breeding units that it can monitor remotely, said Nguyen.

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