The big list of edible insect products!

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In countries were eating insects is an old custom and part of the culinary tradition you often eat them whole. Snacking them, stir frying them, grilling them on skewers or popping them into soups or stews. Sometimes they are grinded, used as flavouring and sometimes made into powder and mixed with salts and spices.
Lately countries without this tradition, countries with a more processed approach to food, have started experimenting with insects and suddenly we have even more applications of the nutritious bugs. In this blog post I will continually keep track of all the different kinds of applications that have surfaced over the years. Some of them are a bit unique. Others (like protein bars) are really common and have been replicated many times.

This article will be continually updated with text, new categories and images.
It will probably be quite massive, and at the moment some of the products are only headlines and/or a photo. Please add comments if you find products that are not covered! And do not miss my other massive guide: The Eating insects startups: Here is the list of Entopreneurs around the world!

Index (all anchored linked articles have been written):

Bar (protein bar, energy bar)
Beer
Bitters
Bread
Candy & chocolate covered insects
Cookies
Crackers
Crisps/Chips
Crisp bread
Croquets/insect balls/insect falafel
Granola & Granola bites
Ice cream
Meat replacement (replacing minced meat)
“Milk”
Natural – for cooking
Noodles
Oil
Pasta
Pasta sauce
Paté / bread spread
Pesto
Powder (Flour)
Powder / baking flour
Protein powder / shakes
Protein Snacks
Ravioli
Roasted whole insects (with different flavours)
Smoothie
Shots
Spices
Spirits
Tapenade


Bars

Bar (protein bar, energy bar)

The power bar/protein bar/energy bar is originally a spinoff product of the space race. In the sixties NASA came up with the idea of a compact bar full of nutrition you could eat on a space mission. In the 60:s products was launched in shops called “space sticks”, and in the 80s we got the “power bar”. The last decade the market of bars have exploded and it is an important part of what often is referred to as a “snacking culture”. Skipping meals and instead snacking on the go. It’s also part of an ongoing lets-have-more-proteins trend.

As insects like crickets and mealworms contain a lot of proteins it’s not strange that many entoprenuers have come up with the idea: “Let’s make a cricket bar”!

One of the earliest examples is Chapul from the USA. Chapul was started by Pat Crowley in 2012 and made the concept cricket bar famous when he appeared on the show “Shark tank” 21 of March 2014. You can see a clip from where he convinces Mark Cuban to invest in the business.

Unfortunately many of the so called cricket bars on the market actually contain a really small amount of cricket powder. The reason is still cost. Insect powder is more expensive than the other ingredients in the list. Hopefully this will change in the future.


Bug beer

Beer

Insects snacks go great with beer, but you can also use insects to brew the beer itself? Some researchers say that using yeasts from insects might be the future of beer brewing… Some avant-garde brewers are already doing it. Like Dailey Crafton who have made “Wasp bear” using yeasts from Wasps. Most breweries experimenting with insects as an ingredient uses it for flavouring: Like the Dutch brewery De Molen that made a Grasshopper saison 2015, and the guys in Brazil who invented the Leafcutter Ant Saison.
These are small batch products, but there are also examples of beers that are sold in larger quantities. One is New Zealand brewery Garage Projects sour ale Aardvark flavoured with lemon grass ants. I actually once hold one in my hand, at Systembolaget in Stockholm the day it was supposed to be launched. Unfortunately Swedish food regulations stopped it (read story in Swedish here).

A more recent example is Belgian Beetles Beer, spiced with beetles.


Bitters

Bitters

This product from “The Trouble Makers inc” is more of a statement then a business idea.

“We’ve found that people are more willing to first try insects in a cocktail than in food. And crickets have a completely unique rich flavor that add an amazing depth of flavor to drinks.
Give them a try – join the movement to change the conversation around what and how we are consuming. ”

You can find them here: www.critter-bitters.com


Insect bread

Bread

When Finnish food giant Fazer in November 2017 launched the cricket bread in Finnish grocery stores they boasted that they were they were first. One bread contained 70 ground crickets that added proteins minerals and vitamin B12. And a slight nutty taste. In March 2019 another Nordic country, Norway, followed the Finns example. This time creating a bread containing mealworms.
Will more countries follow suit?


Burgers

The burger is the perfect food form factor if you want to launch food with a new novel ingredient but still want people to feel some comfort eating it. You can eat the Bug Burger just like an ordinary beef burger but instead of beef you get a burger containing a mixture of insects and vegetables. A climate friendly and healthy alternative to a Whopper or McFeast.
That’s why I originally in 2014 founded Bugburger and started experimenting with different bug burger recipes.
In my case I wrote a book instead but there are a lot of entopreneurs outthere who have developed bugburgers, and more are coming. One of the first was the “Bux burger” from German Bug Foundation that originally was launched in restaurants in Belgium 2014, and later launched in grocery stores in Germany.

In the photo above you see Bugburgers Insect burger, Minus farms “Incredible burger” and Essentos Burger.

Here one of my own videos when I make a Bugburger >>


Candy and chocolate covered insects

Candy & chocolate covered insects

The easiest way to launch insects: Cover them in chocolate and sell them as candy. A roasted grasshopper coated in chocolate tastes like Kit kat!
A classic! Another classic is the lollipops with a whole insect in them. This novelty was invented by the American company Hotlix in 1982, and the concept have been copied many times.
Some companies makes insects candy with ground up insect powder.

In the photo you see dark chocolate crickets from Don Bugito, lollipops from Hotlix and a mealworm package from Zirp Insects and a couple of chocolate covered scorpions.


Cookies

Cookies

One of the first commercialized insect products I tried was Bitty’s cookies. Including some insect powder in your cookie dough make a great stealth product. Make your cookies more nutritious and delicious!
If you don’t find insect cookies in your local store it is easy to make them yourself. Just add a couple of cups of insect powder to your cookie dough.

In the photo you see macarons and cookies from French Minus farms, American Bittys cookies (no longer sold) and Mexican Grichas vanilla cookies.


Crackers

Crackers

I have seen a lot of companies promoting insect crackers. A healthier alternative to cream crackers and a great combo with cheese or marmalade.

In the photo: Cricket crackers from Crické, Organic crackers from Crickstart (now named Landish),crisp rye bread from Finnish Savonia, the Kickstarter Crickers, Belgian Little foods Tomato Crickers, and Finnish Griidys Cricket Crackers.


Chips / Crisps

Crisps/Chips

Whole rosted insects often make a great snack just by themselves, but not all entopreneurs think this is the best way to make more people eat insects. Why not incorporate nutritious insect powder in snacks that looks like traditional snacks instead?
One great example is American Chirps, the name obviously a play with the sounds crickets make and the word chips (crisps in English English).
Promoting more healthy snacks, healty unguilty pleasures could be a success story. At the moment the products are a bit too expensive compared to the more unhealthy alternatives.

In the photo above you find Chirps chips, Bella pupa a snack made from silk pupae (from Bugsolutely) and cricket tortilla chips from Crické.


crispbread

Crisp bread

A personal favourite is making crispbread were you replace 1/3 of the flour with insect powder (mealworm or cricket (or similar)). It makes a great snack. You can make it yourself (recipe in my book) or you can buy it from a couple of companies (one of them Swedish Eat:em).

Products in photo: Insektsknæk from Danish Enorm Food, crisp bread from Swedish company Kafka. Crispbread from Swedish Eat:em and Knäckebrot from German Imago Insect Products.


insect balls

Croquets/insect balls/insect falafel

Just like burgers, balls, like meatballs and falafel, are a well known food form factor. There are several examples of products using insects as one of the ingredients. In the Netherlands there have been made a variant of the local “Bitterbal” called “Bitter Balzz”, and in Switzerland the company Essento launched Insects balls sold at Coops supermarkets.

Photos: To the left: Swizz Essentos Insect Balls. In the right top corner: Belgian mealworm croquettes from Nimavert. Below: Swizz Pop-Bugs.


cricket granola

Granola & Granola bites

If I would have found insects in my granola let’s say 2008 I would probably have thought the packet was old and throw it away. Early 2018 I bought a packet of granola from Finnish Entocube with whole roasted crickets in it. As the crickets taste nutty, and granola usually contains nuts it makes sense. And Entocube are not the only ones that have come to this conclusion. But not all take the bold step and introduce bold crickets. Seek Foods granola combines traditional oats and almonds with flakes made of cricket powder. An alternative is just selling this granola flakes, or as Don Bugito calls them “Granola bites”. You can then add them to your own granola. Finnish Entis has done something similar with their Bugbites (read a review here).


Ice cream

I borrowed the image above from South African company Gourmet Grubb who are the inventors behind “entomilk” a product similar too cow milk made from black soldier fly larvea.
Looking forward to tasting, and more companies following this interesting example.


Meat replacement (replacing minced meat)

If you really want to make a product that can be claimed to be climate friendly and make an impact you have to create something that actually replaces meat! Replace a serving of beef with insects and you have made a difference.
In many countries minced meat is used a lot as a base for cooking: Bolognese, meatballs, burgers, meatloaf etc.
Several companies have been working on alternatives using insects. Often the insects have been mixed with soy. The reason for this is mostly cost (crickets are still expensive).


“Milk”

Soy milk, oat milk, almond milk… lets add: Entomilk! The original Insect milk was invented by a South African company called Gourmet Grubb.
No sugar, no carbs. They also invented the Bug Icecream.
There have also been reports that cockroaches produce something similar to milk that feeds their offspring and that the “milk” from these insects are extremely nutritious.
Looking forward to more insect milk!


Natural insects

Natural – for cooking

The most obvious choice for a burgeoning insect chef: By whole insects and cook with them! Dried insects are easy to sell online as they are light and keep well. But I hope we will see more producer sell them frozen. Like Belgian distributor Deli Ostrich, Austrian Die Wurmfarm or Finnish Entocube. UK based Eatgrub have been selling dried insects for cooking since 2014 and also made their own cook book.
Unfortunately this is still a nisch product, and maybe will see more interest from cutting edge restaurants before we see a bigger interest from the amateur chefs.


Noodles

Get back for an update!


Oil

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Pasta

Get back for an update!


Cricket Pasta sauce

Pasta sauce

Both Gryllies tomato sauce with crickets, and One Hop kitchens mealworm bolognese and cricket bolognese are creations by companies from Toronto. I once heard Lee Cadesky from C-fu foods explain that putting insects in tomato sauce made a great nutritional product that also have great shelf life. Unfortunately I think none of these products still are sold and both Gryllies and C-Fu food (who was behind One hop kitchen) have seized to exist.


Paté / bread spread

Get back for an update!


Pesto

Get back for an update!


insect powder

Powder (sometimes called Flour)

Ground up dried or roasted crickets have often been called “flour”, which (as one of the pioneers Dr. Aaron T. Dossey often points out) is incorrect, as powdered crickets don’t have the same baking abilities like ordinary flour. But the high protein insect powder (up to around 70 percent protein) can be used in bread, pancakes, waffles, smothies… well most of the products in this list. At the moment mostly cricket powder and mealworm powder is marketed, but we will se more insects coming. One gamechanger can be the Black Soldier Fly larvae, as BSF can be produced more cheaply then mealworms and crickets.
This is a big product category, and when the prices go down the demand might skyrocket…


Powder / baking flour

Get back for an update!


Protein powder / shakes

Get back for an update!


Protein Snacks

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Ravioli

Get back for an update!


Roasted whole insects (with different flavours)

Get back for an update!


Smoothie

Get back for an update!


Shots

Get back for an update!


Spices

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Spirits

Get back for an update!


Photo: Little Food

Tapenade

“In sandwiches, as an aperitif or as a sauce in pasta, the aubergine cricket tapenade allows you to taste crickets as part of our habits food.”
Belgian Little Food have created a tapenade with 15 percent crickets.


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