Anyone for crickets? Finnish bakery sells bread made from insect

Posted by Christopher Bonnin | November 28th, 2017

Fazer in Helsinki claims to be first store in world to offer insect bread, which contains about 70 crickets ground up into flour

A Finnish bakery has launched what it claims to be the world’s first insect-based bread to be offered to consumers in stores.

The bread, made using flour ground from dried crickets as well as wheat flour and seeds, has more protein than normal wheat bread. Each loaf contains about 70 crickets and costs €3.99 (£3.55), compared with €2-3 for a regular wheat loaf.

“It offers consumers a good protein source and also gives them an easy way to familiarise themselves with insect based food,” said Juhani Sibakov, the head of innovation at the bakery firm Fazer. The demand to find more food sources and a desire to treat animals more humanely have raised interest in using insects as a protein source in western countries.

Finland, in November, joined five other European countries – Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Denmark – in allowing insects to be raised and marketed for food use.

Sibakov said Fazer developed the bread last summer and waited for legislation to be passed in Finland for the launch.

“I don’t taste the difference … It tastes like bread,” said Sara Koivisto, a student from Helsinki, after trying the product.

Due to a limited supply of crickets, the bread will initially be sold in 11 Fazer bakery stores in Helsinki hypermarkets, but the company plans to offer it in all its 47 stores by next year.

The company buys its cricket flour from the Netherlands, but said it was looking for local suppliers. Fazer, a family business with sales of about €1.6bn last year, did not give a sales target for the product.

Insect eating, or entomophagy, is common in much of the world. The UN estimated last year that at least 2 billion people eat insects, and more than 1,900 species have been used for food.

Edible bugs are gaining traction in niche markets in western countries, particularly among those seeking a gluten-free diet or wanting to protect the environment because farming insects uses less land, water and feed than other animal husbandry.


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