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Insects are the new superfood. TOP Best Business Ideas

Alternative protein

With a world population of 7.6 billion and growing by an average of 83 million every year, a more sustainable source of protein is needed to meet the needs of future generations. Insects are one such alternative that can provide a significant amount of protein while significantly reducing our impact on land use.

Alternative proteins are increasingly seen as viable solutions to food security and sustainability issues in the face of climate change or food shortages, as insects offer three times more edible protein than livestock meat.

But for most, the very idea seems frankly frightening, and such food is disgusting.

Some manufacturers offer their customers to try the original product - insects in their original form, dried or fried, sometimes even canned. 

 Thailand Unique Canned Weaver Ant Eggs

Spiced fried mealworm appetizer from Danish Crickster.

But it's a pretty bold move. If your audience is more driven by a desire to help make the world a better place, and therefore ditching meat in favor of new foods, more traditional snacks and meals based on dried insects are a good business idea.

How to start?

Even if you sell insects without further processing into "alternative" protein, it is important to understand where you will get them: will you grow them yourself or will you find a supplier?

In the first case, you will need to find a batch of insects for breeding (there are more than 1900 edible insects, but the most famous of them are orthopterans (grasshoppers, locusts, etc.), as well as beetle larvae (worms, weevils, etc.), hymenoptera (ants, bee larvae…)), and set up a  vertical farm for their production.

It is important to remember that the breeding of insects in the northern latitudes is associated with relatively high costs for electricity and heat. For this reason, many attract contractors from southern countries, where the climate can significantly reduce energy costs. It is possible to find both specialized production and hire and train local farmers. In the first case, you will receive a guarantee of product quality, in the second - cost reduction.

One way or another, this business does not require much investment and is relatively easy to start.

After the raw material for the production of alternative protein is ready (usually insects are dried or fried), it can be stored for 8-12 months. 

Alternative Protein Products

Today, protein powder is primarily produced from insects.

Dried crickets from Danish Crickster.

The next most popular product is, of course, sports nutrition. For example, a German manufacturer isaac nutrition  offers such a set for a protein diet.

Snacks are also very popular: snacks, pastries, ice cream, shakes and other dairy alternatives.

Chips from the Singaporean company  Plento

Mix for baking from the American company  Cricket Flours

 High Protein Biscuits from Malaysian company  Ento

Granola based on insects ground into powder

Crackers from the French Micronutrients

Traditional snack churrito with protein from farm crickets from the Mexican manufacturer Gricha

Less common are traditional dishes for a full meal, for example, pasta. 

Pasta from a Thai company Bugsolutely

Piquancy to the dish can also be added by such an original mixture from the Australian Grubs Up

You can also fill the dish, for example, with oil from a silkworm pupa from ThailandUnique

Also ThailandUnique offers many ideas of insect desserts, for example, candy grasshoppers covered with chocolate.

By the way, tea, which is perfect for such a dessert, can also be a product of insect activity. This so-called "pearl tea", which was originally known only in China, perfectly "cools" on hot summer days - this is a special tea made from the feces of grain moth larvae. These larvae feed only on special tea leaves (Camellia sinensis) that have been naturally fermented. When the leaves pass through the body of the larvae, they continue fermentation. Their droppings are collected by hand, and the collected droppings are dried and then aged.

And what about a pear-flavored lollipop and mealworm from the Dutch company Tinyfoods

Promotion and marketing 

Of course, many companies offer a variety of snacks in appearance indistinguishable from the usual dishes of European cuisine, using insect powder as a basic element, but there are also quite bold marketing solutions when the exotic in its original form is no less attractive.  The choice is yours! 

One way or another, good advertising is required to promote food from alternative protein: the budget for attracting is a significant part of the costs in such a business, of course, if the raw materials, insects, are marketed as an advantage. 

Insects can cause an allergic reaction, and some contain toxins, so it is important not only to hold educational events, but also to constantly work with reviews, this will reduce the negative, which is especially important at the start.

If you are considering starting a business for the production of alternative protein or products based on it - get acquainted with solutions for growing, processing and selling insects in our catalog.

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