Budget supermarket Aldi is considering selling edible insect recipes as the cost of living crisis hits families.
Bugs such as grasshoppers are known to be a cheap and sustainable form of protein.
Now Aldi is considering whether she should have products from Yum Bug, which makes the insect recipes.
Yum Bug founders Aaron Thomas and Leo Taylor, both 28, are competing against other start-ups to get their product on supermarket shelves.
The duo were selected from hundreds of applicants to appear on Channel 4’s ‘Aldi’s Next Big Thing’ tomorrow.
Aaron Thomas and Leo Taylor of Yum Bug try to convince Aldi to put edible creatures on their shelves as a cheap source of protein
The pair will appear on Channel 4’s ‘Aldi’s Next Big Thing’ tomorrow night, where they will take a tour of the supermarket to carry their edible insect products
Hosted by Anita Rani from Countryfile and BBC Radio 4 and Chris Bavin from Britain’s Best Home Food and Eat Well for Less. The six-part TV series sees vendors compete in categories such as dinners, baked goods, treats and shop cupboard essentials
Hosted by Anita Rani from Countryfile and BBC Radio 4 and Chris Bavin from Britain’s Best Home Food and Eat Well for Less. The six-part TV series sees vendors compete in categories such as dinners, baked goods, treats and shop cupboard essentials.
The products are presented to Julie Ashfield, managing director of purchasing at Aldi UK, who considers factors such as price, packaging, customer demand and the ability to scale up, before narrowing the contestants down to just two.
The finalists are then given four weeks to provide feedback before presenting improved products to Julie, who decides which product will be featured as a Specialbuy in over 970 stores.
Thomas, from Islington, London, said: ‘We are on a mission to change the perception of insects as food; they are one of the most sustainable protein sources in the world.
‘Chickens are up to 70 percent protein, which is three times the amount of protein found in beef. They also have more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk, and the list goes on. They are an incredible superfood.
‘We want to take bug consumption mainstream. If we are able to get in front of Aldi’s audience it would be a fantastic opportunity.’
Taylor said: ‘Aaron and I have been cooking with insects for years – it started in 2017 with weekends experimenting from my parents’ garage, making all sorts of recipes and posting content online.
‘We then sold our first insect recipe boxes out of our bedrooms in lockdown and that’s really where it all snowballed.’
Aldi says the competition is part of its commitment to locally sourced products. It has pledged to prioritize home-grown suppliers as it works towards spending an additional £3.5 billion a year with UK businesses by the end of 2025.
Edible insects have been touted as the next ‘superfood’, with the creepy crawlies packed full of protein, nutrients, potassium, magnesium and three times more fatty acids than salmon’s omega-3s.
Insects contain more than twice as much protein per 100 g as meat and fish, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Crickets are the most widely cultivated insects for the human diet worldwide and are considered the ‘gateway bug’ for people who choose to eat insects.
They, along with other insects, are touted as highly nutritious and much better for the planet – environmentally and economically – than traditional livestock, due to the relatively efficient rate at which they convert feed into body mass.
The global population is expected to top nine billion by 2050, putting enormous pressure on the environment, conventional food sources and farming techniques. Insects could help meet the demand for food.
Many people in non-Western countries already eat insects regularly. They are very effective at converting vegetation into edible protein and full of vitamins and minerals.
Previous studies have found that four grasshoppers provide as much calcium as a glass of milk, and dung beetles, by weight, contain more iron than beef.
Raising insects generates one-tenth of the methane produced by raising traditional meat sources, and it uses relatively little water, making the process better for the environment.
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