Strategic advice for the food and beverage industry

Cricket granola – a leap too far?

Late last year Fazer launched a cricket-based bread in Finland, in the hope that the market was ready for insect-based foods. It was. The breads were well received by Finnish consumers and sold out on the first day.

Now, another company is pushing the boundaries yet further. EntoCube has launched cricket granola, under its consumer brand Samu. The granola is available in health food chain Ruohonjuuri, and also in mainstream supermarket chain K-Food.

There is a key difference between these two products, and it’s to do with subtlety. While Fazer’s bread contains crickets that have been ground into flour – making them less evident to the consumer – Samu’s granola has roasted, whole crickets clearly visible in the mix. Consumers will be in no doubt that they are eating insects with every spoonful.

It’s a bold move. Consumers in the Western world may need more time to get used to the thought of eating insects, particularly in their whole form. But the fact that Finland seems to have a more positive attitude towards insect foods than other Nordic countries might help. Perhaps consumers that already can imagine eating insects – they may have dipped their toe in the water with Fazer’s bread – are prepared to consume them in a range of shapes and forms.

At least Samu has got one crucial thing right: a focus on taste. “Taste first” should be the number one motto for all food and beverage companies, and Samu has grasped this. The product is promoted as “mouth-watering”, “delicate” and “salty-sweet”; the content of apple and Nordic lingonberry helps achieve this.

But with the granola retailing at €9.49 ($11.43) per 200-gram box, consumers need to be prepared to pay for the privilege of eating insects. Will Samu be able to convince them to try such a challenging product – and to keep on purchasing it once the thrill of such a novel food has worn off?

By Mikaela Lindén

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Posted in Editorial, Mainsite

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