To date said Goldin, most of the focus in North America has been on protein-rich powder (typically ground whole crickets) for use in nutrition bars and protein shakes. If bugs are going to truly become a viable alternative to meat as a protein source, however, they will need to find their way into a broader range of applications, he said.
"I’d like to see the raw product becoming available in a frozen format.
“The raw cricket has a very different taste and different functionality to a cricket that’s been roasted or roasted and ground into powder, the flavor profile is different and the way you can cook with it is different. Like any other meat I'd like to see this in the frozen food section like all of our proteins," said Goldin.
I see in the future you might have contract producers and centralized processing
Asked about the most efficient way to manufacture insect products at scale, Goldin said that at this stage of the industry’s evolution it made a lot of sense to be vertically integrated (Entomo Farms raises and processes its insects unlike some other players in the trade).
But he added: “I see in the future you might have contract producers [bug farmers] and centralized processing… The processing equipment is incredibly expensive and it could be prohibitive for farmers that just want to produce protein. If you look at traditional farming, chicken, pork and beef, generally you have farmers and animals go to a centralized processor.
“But right now being vertically integrated… gives us the control and flexibility that we need.”
Asked where Entomo Farms sat within the broader edible insect market Goldin said: “We like to think of ourselves as one of the market leaders, and from a branding perspective, I think we’re one of the most recognized [edible insect] brands across the world now, but there are other players in the market and we encourage that.
“The big food players won’t step in until there is more stability in the supply, so we need more producers out there.”
Where next for edible insects?
So where could the industry go in the medium to longer term?
“Even though the industry is a few years old in North America now, it’s still such a young industry and it’s really difficult to [say where it’s going to go],” said Goldin.
“But I think the nutraceutical side is where we’re going to see the most growth over the next few years. We know it’s a complete protein, but there is also some really incredible research starting to show some significant health benefits.”
Read more about Entomo Farms HERE.