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Food companies ‘need to create a protein buzz’

Insects are a healthy and highly nutritious food source with high protein, fibre, vitamin and mineral content, but too few consumers are aware of the benefits.

That’s the conclusion of Globaldata’s Consumer Associate Analyst Matthew Perry, who points out that cricket flour has twice as much protein as beef, and twice as much iron as spinach.

But 38% of consumers surveyed by Glabaldata are unaware of the ingredient. Perry says insects are also greener and more sustainable alternatives to traditional animal protein sources such as beef, pork and poultry given that they emit fewer greenhouse gasses and require less water and feed to produce.

As flour, the product becomes a lot less unsightly and more appealing to consumers compared to eating insects whole. This concept is similar to animal protein processes as steaks, for example, do not resemble cattle.

“The biggest challenge for insect-based food companies is to make consumers aware and communicate the benefits of this alternative protein to facilitate its adoption,” says Perry. “Insect protein manufacturers should shape their marketing and advertising strategies to position the products as highly nutritious and eco-friendly alternatives to conventional animal-based protein sources.

“Companies should also look to promote the flavour appeal and versatility of insect protein. For example, brands can use familiar flavour combinations and promote insect protein as a means of boosting the protein content of smoothies and baked goods to further the adoption of insect-based foods into society.”

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