Professor Arnold van Huis, of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, explained the potential for growth in this exclusive video interview, filmed at a noisy conference venue in central London.
“The development of insects as human food is now going very fast,” he told FoodManufacture.co.uk. “About 10 years ago, few people in the west had heard of insects as food, now most people know.”
The novel food source appealed to consumers’ sense of adventure and desire to buy food associated with reduced environmental impacts, he added.
Burgers and Meatballs
Consumers in Belgium and the Netherlands were most exposed to insect food options, said van Huis. Popular choices included burgers and meat balls made from insects.
Van Huis confided his personal preference was for deep fried crickets – with lots of salt and pepper.
Bingham & Jones believed it was only a matter of time before insects for human consumption became more widely in European stores
David Jones said: “We don’t know if it [insects for human consumption] is the future,” said Jones. “But we know it has a future.”
Jones said the insect category was now attracting “serious investment”.
Bingham & Jones looked forward to seeing which would be the first of the big five supermarkets to promote insects. They also wondered how the Food Standards Agency would react to insects as human food.
The Food Manufacture Group’s innovation conference – New Frontiers in Food and Drink – was staged at etc. venues St. Pauls, London on Thursday March 17.
Chaired by Steve Osborn – director of the Aurora Ceres Partnership – the event was sponsored by Lloyds Bank and legal specialist Roythornes.