Close
 

If you plant it, they will come: Crawlers on insects in retail and Kiwi diets

  • News
  • February 23, 2018
  • Elly Strang
If you plant it, they will come: Crawlers on insects in retail and Kiwi diets

Is going meat-free the way to fight climate change? Here, we talk to Crawlers co-founder Dan Craig about the insects crawling into the retail space - and our diets. 

According to research done by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, around two billion people around the globe regularly eat insects as part of their diet, with over 1900 species counted as edible.

With current food resources from farms and oceans already constrained, if the world’s population continues to swell – nine billion people are expected to populate the planet by 2050 if growth continues at this rate – we need to find some alternatives.

One alternative proposed by experts is insects. Last year, researchers at the University of Edinburgh and Scotland's Rural College explored a scenario where half of the current animal products in the world are replaced by insects, lab-grown meat or imitation meat.

They found that halving global consumption of animal products by eating more insects or imitation meat would free up 1680 million hectares of land, as farming insects requires far less land and energy to produce.

In New Zealand, Crawlers' Dan Craig begun four years ago when him and co-founder Matt Genefaas were traveling through Thailand and came across a farm that sold edible insects.

They decided to take a punt importing them to New Zealand, but soon found the market was so untouched, the MPI, Customs and New Zealand Law had to get together and create a law because Crawlers was the one business importing dead insects for human consumption.

Crawlers’ initial focus was on chocolate, ‘fun’ edible insects that could be given as gifts, Craig says.

Now, it sells a wide range of crickets, silkworms, locusts, grasshoppers, mealworms, ants, scorpions, superworms and tarantulas, boasting one of the world's largest edible insect ranges.

But perhaps most excitingly, it’s moving beyond novelty gifts towards cooking at products that incorporate insects, such as its cricket flour, powders and pasta.

Craig says the world is now looking to insects as an alternative source of protein, as farming them is one of the most sustainable methods of getting it.

“Crawlers has been operating for nearly five years and every year we are seeing more and more open minded Kiwis wanting to know more about insects and why insects as a source of protein for the future,” he says.

“We think consumers resonates more with the amount of protein and nutrients in insects currently, but as time goes on I think it will be a shift in consumers thinking for more of the sustainability reasons behind eating insects or having a plant-based diet.”

When Crawlers won Idealog and Accenture’s Most Creative Wildcard award last year, Craig was admanant insect-based products would become a mainstream staple.

“Two years ago coconut flour wasn't even a thing,” Craig said, “yet now you see it everywhere. It’s the same with us. I give it two years before the supermarket is covered in insect-based products. We’re already beginning to see it.”

Though some might balk at the thought of chowing down on a bug, their nutritional qualities are impressive. They’re high fat, protein, vitamin, fibre and mineral content – often more so than their meat counterparts.

“For example, locusts contain 78 percent protein whereas chicken contains 23 percent and there is 2x more b12 in crickets than in salmon. The list goes on and on,” Craig says.

And how does Craig involve the creatures into his day-to-day meals? He says for those wanting to take the plunge, he says the best way to start off is with cricket flour.

Dan Craig and Matt Genefaas

“It is crickets milled into a powder, which you can add it to virtually anything. Add cricket flour to morning smoothies or your favourite recipes to boost your protein and nutrient profiles. If you want to start being adventurous with insects, add cricket or grasshoppers to your stir fries for a bit of crunch.”

But beware: those who eat insects are technically not counted as sticking to a ‘plant-based diet’, as insects are still considered an animal. However, Craig says many vegetarians eat the products due to the sustainability aspect of it.

For those who are bold enough to look beyond just crickets, National Geographic recommends sampling beetles, moths and butterflies, bees and wasps, ants, flies and mosquitos and stinkbugs. Delectable. 

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 
 
 

Thankyou wants customers to fly its logo from a crane

  • News
  • June 18, 2018
  • Sarah Dunn
Thankyou wants customers to fly its logo from a crane

Australian social enterprise company Thankyou is newly launched in New Zealand with a strong narrative of charitable giving and a range of affordably-priced personal care products. But first, it wants customers to literally go above and beyond to promote it.

Read more
 
 
 
topics
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 
 
 
 

Get a glimpse of The Retail Hotlist 2018

  • News
  • June 15, 2018
  • The Register team
Get a glimpse of The Retail Hotlist 2018

New Zealand’s hottest retailers put on their party frocks and dancing shoes for The Register and NZ Retail’s first event, The Retail Hotlist, in June. We’ve now released the official video.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita@tangiblemedia.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}