Edible insects on sale in UK supermarket first
Sainsbury’s has become the first UK supermarket to stock edible insects.
The barbecue flavour crickets are now available in 250 stores across the country, and are described as “crunchy in texture with a rich smoky flavour”.
The Eat Grub bugs – acheta domesticus, or house crickets – are farmed in Europe and come in packets of about 50, at £1.50 per bag. It is suggested they could be eaten straight as a snack, or to top a salad or in a stir fry.
Rachel Eyre, head of future brands at Sainsbury’s, said: “Insect snacks should no longer be seen as a gimmick or something for a dare, and it’s clear that consumers are increasingly keen to explore this new sustainable protein source. We’re always looking to provide our customers with new and exciting products, and with the growing interest in edible insects we’re excited to be the first UK supermarket to make these products easily accessible for shoppers across the country.”
Insects have been eaten in the East for centuries, and are a much more sustainable protein alternative to rearing beef or pork.
Founders of Eat Grub, friends Shami Radia and Neil Whippey, said: “Currently Insects are eaten worldwide by around two billion people with countries such as Thailand, Mexico and China already recognising them as a delicious food source. We’re on a mission to show the West that as well as having very strong sustainability and environmental credentials, they are also seriously tasty and shouldn’t be overlooked as a great snack or recipe ingredient. Securing this new listing with Sainsbury’s is a really meaningful step in continuing this journey and reaching more consumers with our message.”
According to Radia, there are many reasons why consumers should embrace insects as a food source: “Insects can produce the same amount of protein for a fraction of the land, water and feed used to rear traditional livestock. What’s more, insects are estimated to release 80% less methane than cows.”