Bringing insectxy back: Hopping cricket bars into the mainstream

Wednesday, November 19, 2014: 2:15 PM
Portland Ballroom 253 (Oregon Convention Center)
Patrick Crowley , Chapul, Salt Lake City, UT
For decades, select academics and writers have touted the many benefits of entomophagy, with an almost unanimous conclusion that Western culture’s aversion to the concept was a barrier to mainstream adoption. In 2012, Chapul challenged this view when they launched the first food product in the US using insects as a form of nutrition in the shape of an energy bar, fortified with cricket flour. Using marketing techniques targeting early adopters, Chapul has been able to penetrate mainstream markets with product placement on over 300 store shelves, presenting insects to a wide range of consumers via natural food stores, outdoor recreation outlets, and even mainstream convenience stores like 7-Eleven. Although common business theory suggests avoiding the introduction of a consumer product with no demand, Chapul has attempted to embed insects into current food trends such as the paleo diet, protein-focused consumers, and the rapidly increasing organic and all-natural food markets. The marketing techniques used to accomplish this have relied upon positive, solution-oriented messaging.