SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development - North AmericaEU edition | Asian edition

News > Manufacturers

Read more breaking news

 

 
Dispatches from IFT 2014

Cricket bars founder: ‘We launched a product without a supply chain in place to scale it’

By Maggie Hennessy , 03-Jul-2014
Last updated on 03-Jul-2014 at 15:58 GMT2014-07-03T15:58:44Z

Cricket bars founder: ‘We launched a product without a supply chain in place to scale it’

Since it was created in 2012, Chapul Inc. has been on a mission to integrate edible insects into Western diets, using its cricket energy bars as the vehicle. 

And while starting a food company with no supply chain in place might seem counter to common business theory, Salt Lake City-based Chapul is growing its retail distribution state by state as more consumers embrace the sustainable, protein-packed cricket.

The bars were deliberately formulated to make the introduction to edible insects as “gentle as possible”, Chapul’s founder Pat Crowley told FoodNavigator-USA during the recent IFT show in New Orleans. The crickets are baked at a low temperature and ground before being incorporated into the bar.  

“We’re addressing the reasons why we don’t eat insects here, which is cultural, psychological perception. So we’re trying to make it the easiest, gentlest step for people to try them for the first time and then hopefully start incorporating them into more of a mainstream diet.”

But why should mainstream consumers even care to incorporate insects into their diets? “The nutritional aspects stand alone,” Crowley noted. Not only are crickets a complete protein source, but they’re high in calcium, iron and vitamin B12—which is especially attractive for consumers who’ve abandoned traditional livestock from their diets, as they tend to fall short on B12.

But it’s not easy forging a new market, particularly one that hasn’t yet gained widespread cultural acceptance or established a robust supply chain. “Counter to a lot of business theory, we launched a product without a supply chain in place to actually scale it,” Crowley said. “But we’re a mission driven company; we’re trying to introduce it and eventually create a pull through demand to drive that side of it.”

Indeed, a growing number of farms are growing food-grade insects, and the industry is increasingly engaging in dialogues surrounding alternative protein sources. Plus, the manufacturer has just gained distribution in 84 Vitamin Cottage locations, where it’s jockeying for space in the highly competitive energy bar section.

But as always, Crowley remains optimistic. “We haven’t let the negative aspects of cultural perception bother us at all or divert our energy,” he said. “That’s been our approach, and it seems to be working because as we’ve found these early adopters they’re the ones building momentum talking about the benefits of incorporating it into their diets and seeing positive changes in their diets.”

Read more about Chapul and Crowley’s “blindly optimistic” approach to changing our food system.

Related products

Bright Farms helps retailers provide fresh, local produce year around

BrightFarms helps retailers provide fresh, local & safe produce year around

For shoppers today, buying groceries is all about fresh and local – which can...

Granola and healthy children’s products bright spots in cereal

Granola and healthy children’s products are bright spots in cereal category, Barbara’s says

It is no secret that the cereal aisle is struggling with Euromonitor estimating a...

Dissolvable Tea Drops brings consumers to premium tea category

Dissolvable Tea Drops brings more consumers to premium tea category by offering convenience

The demand for tea in the US is skyrocketing, but so too is the...

CideRoad: Switchel meets demand for bolder flavors

CideRoad: Switchel meets demand for bolder flavors

The sweet but tart taste of switchel can be polarizing, says Cide Road founder...

Safe Catch entices consumers to canned tuna with low mercury product

Safe Catch entices consumers back to canned tuna category with low mercury product

Despite doctors’ recommendations to eat more fish for its many health benefits, many consumers...

Veggie fries have mass market appeal, says Farmwise

'Consumers love French fries, but they are looking for healthier alternatives'

Farmwise frozen veggie fries contain 30% vegetables and beans, and 70% potatoes, and have...

Nomva probiotic fruit snacks: We perform best in the juice set

Nomva probiotic fruit snacks: We perform best in the juice set

With more fiber than cold-pressed juice (4-5g per serving), plus a dose of probiotics...

At Expo West 2016, RiceBran Technologies launches NukaCha smoothie

Expo West 2016 Debut: RiceBran Technologies launches smoothie-on-the-go NukaCha

Riding the wave of smoothie enthusiasm, Arizona-based RiceBran Technologies launches… powder in a bottle?

Trendspotting at Expo West: Almond Flour, purple corn, jica chips

Trendspotting at Expo West 2016: From purple corn porridge to jicama chips

At Expo West 2016, companies large and small were reimagining pantry staples, from savory...

YouBar platform makes mass customization a reality, says CEO

YouBar platform makes mass customization a reality, says CEO: 'We have no minimum order quantities'

Whether it’s a mug with your beloved pet’s picture on it, or a bespoke...

Saturated fat guidelines out, food guidelines in?

Get rid of nutrients and focus on foods in guidelines, says sat fat researcher

Benoit Lamarche

Saturated fat researcher, Laval University

'It's business as usual': Davisco Foods on Agropur takeover

'It's business as usual': Davisco Foods on Agropur takeover

Polly Olson

Vice President of Business Development, Davisco Foods International

Snack trends 2014: Euromonitor says popcorn and thins

Euromonitor: Popcorn and thins epitomize ‘indulgence without the guilt’

Popcorn has exploded and thins have sliced into action in snacking – both riding...

InHarvest: Legumes, pulses steal spotlight from animal protein

At the 2014 Research Chefs Association Conference & Culinology Expo, FoodNavigator-USA caught up with...

SFA head: ‘A little term called class action suits’ is prompting GMO removal

SFA head: ‘A little term called class action suits’ is prompting GMO removal

Genetically modified organisms are safe and there is a need and place for them...

Could oats be the next gluten-free star?

Could oats be the next gluten-free star?

Oats, when the supply chain ensures no cross-contamination, are a gluten-free cereal grain. So...

Fed up: Probiotic research veteran issues global call to action

Fed up: Probiotic research veteran issues global call to action

Veteran probiotic researcher professor Gregor Reid is not a happy man. It’s time the...

GMO-free Cheerios: Did General Mills buckle to consumer pressure? Will the move backfire?

GMO-free Cheerios: Did General Mills buckle to consumer pressure? Will the move backfire?

General Mills’ move to go GMO-free on its flagship Cheerios brand has caused quite...

Key Industry Events