US food start-up Six Foods has developed a brand of crisps called Chirps, which uses beans, rice and cricket flour (made from crushed crickets) in its ingredient mix. The company claims that, compared to a typical bag of potato crisps, Chirps have triple the amount of protein – delivering 7g of protein per portion, the same as an egg – as well as half the fat.
The crisps, available for pre-order in the US, come in Aged Cheddar, Sea Salt and Hickory BBQ varieties.
"The contemporary branding solution helps to make this type of ingredient more palatable to a wider consumer audience," says Mandy Saven, head of Food, Beverage & Hospitality at Stylus. "This is something you could easily picture on any mainstream supermarket shelf."
At this year's Food Vision Conference, Chris Cornyn, director of US-based food and drink agency Dine, expressed a similar sentiment. "If you can make insects look like great food, it will make a huge difference [in the minds of consumers]. However, we're going to have an issue with labelling – you can't ignore that there is a bug in your food."
For more on the branding and presentation of non-conventional product lines, look out for our forthcoming report Cannabis: The Culinary Opportunity. Insect cultivation will be further explored in our forthcoming piece on Future Farming.
For a wider view on the impact that insects are having on the future of medicine, security and construction, see Insects in Design.