Influencer marketing. You see it all the time – the Instagram models with #ad in their caption, pushing the cute jeans they’re wearing or the blue gummy hair vitamins. If you’re unfamiliar with this trend, you need to crawl out from under your rock, hop on any of the major social media platforms, and take a gander at the advertising age of branded content. It makes sense – YouTube or Instagram influencers have a lot of market power, as they are more relatable than traditional celebrities and have very loyal fan bases. And, most importantly, many reach most brand’s ideal market: the elusive millennial.
Why Influencers and Content Creators Matter (Even to Bug Companies)
These influencers are, well, quite influential. And it’s not just products they are promoting – it’s a restaurant, an experience, a vacation destination, a way of living, and more. I’m particularly interested in the trend of influencers promoting ideas. Sometimes they start trends, and other times they are the spark that catalyzes a movement into the limelight. Whereas we are accustomed to tuning out traditional advertising, influencer campaigns have not just the “views” or “impressions” required to make an impact, but they also command the genuine attention of their fans.
Continue reading “How to Promote Food Brands with Influencers”
“Try finding a landlord that lets you raise 5 million crickets in his building…” I hear a soft chuckle on the other end of the line. “Yeah – we’re excited to expand but there’s a lot to consider!”
I’m speaking with James Williams, owner of Crunchy Critter Farms. Williams, along with Sean Schultz, Brian Battle, Elliott Blair, and Alex Schneider started Crunchy Critter Farms in 2016 to raise wholesale quantities of crickets for human consumption.
Continue reading “Lookout Landlords and Regulators – Insect Businesses Set to Grow.”
Ken Navarro, creator of Rule of Yum, did not hesitate when he received the strange offer. “Want to come to a wine & cheese pairing? Well, minus the cheese. With bugs instead.”
Continue reading “A Chef’s Take on Wine and Bugs”
It’s with a happy heart and an older soul that I write this particular post. It’s a post of gratitude to my friends and family who gathered around last weekend for some birthday festivities. I asked them not to come bearing gifts, but an open mind instead.
I asked them to try crickets with me for the first time.
Continue reading “How to Get People to Try Insects for the First Time: A Tale of Birthday Bugs”
The horizon is vast, and the journey will be long, but I’m excited so many edible insect companies are coming along!
Wendy Lu McGill, CEO of Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch, made a great point during her presentation at Eating Insects Detroit. She mentioned that most of the entomo-enthusiasts in the room had something in common: they were, or are, first to market *mic drop*.
What does it mean to be first to market? The edible insect market is relatively new in our modern industrial timeline. It’s beautiful / cool / exciting / invigorating to be at the precipice of a new industry – to be a part of a community where the rules are still being written! One could also say, however, it’s confusing / stressful / risky / an uphill battle to be at the precipice of a new industry where the rules are still being written. It depends how you look at it.
Continue reading “First To Market – What it Means for Edible Insect Companies”
Class is in session!
The rustling of eager students settling into their seats softened as the lights in the auditorium dimmed. “Let’s set the stage to discuss the U.S. regulation of insect-derived foods,” began Ricardo Carvajal, director at Hyman, Phelps & McNamara. He was about to take us on a journey touching on what is known on the past, current, and possible future of regulatory facts that matter for those of us interested in entomophagy.
It felt like I was in university again… how I wish I could have taken classes about THIS!
Continue reading “Collaboration is Key For Future of Edible Insect Regulations”
So… we have this weird proclivity to refer to food as “grub,” but get turned off by the thought of eating a grub. Ironic much?
As the cost of animal protein continues to rise and food and feed insecurity becomes more problematic, we need to get serious about addressing our food choices.
Thankfully, most of the world is already eating insects. From Mexico to Asia, two billion people eat a regular diet of insects. In Western cultures, at least it seems to be a growing trend from groups of people as diverse as bodybuilders and environmentalists.
Continue reading “We’re Playing Hide & Seek With Insects”
And entomophagy continues to collect momentum in the press! The Digital Journal released a nice piece a few days ago titled, “Are insects better than Italian cuisine? Some people think so!” In it, they discussed a valid point: what we consider food is largely influenced by culture. Something completely normal to you may be offensively gross to eat, from another culture’s perspective.
The article looks in particular at the Bozzaotra bros – a duo selling insects as food to a growing Italian market. Most fascinating to me was the brief (but MASSIVELY CLEVER) quip on regulations that the article contained. As some of my readers know, I’ve been fascinated by the development of the regulatory scene around the growing entomophagy field. I’ve written a few articles about theregulation of insects as food – focusing on the barriers they present. *SPOILER ALERT* The Bozzaotra bros, geniuses that they are, passed their insect delicacies off as “natural remedies” in order to bypass the strict government regulations.
Continue reading “Insects, Italian Cuisine, and “Natural Remedies””
I don’t know about you, but it makes me thrilled when I read about entomophagy more and more in popular media sites. The Huffington Post released an article today about reinventing entomophagy for the 21st century, and I couldn’t agree more.
“‘Entomophagy is an evolving term in need of review,” says Afton Marina Szasz Halloran, Ph.D Fellow at the University of Copenhagen. Halloran calls for a change in the way we speak about edible insects and entomophagy.”
Continue reading “Reinventing Entomophagy for the 21st Century”
A bit ago the news was been abuzz with Shailene Woodley’s behind-the-scenes video (accompanying her new cover of Nylon magazine) where she predicted that the future of food is insects. She said, “I’ve eaten ants…and June bugs.” It seems that celebrities are getting in on the insect-eating fun.
The other day I came across an Instagram post via Katy Perry where she wrote, “Just celebrating a run of 141 shows with a fun scorpion snack in Bangkok!” … yes, Katy, yes!
Continue reading “Celebs, Insects, and Juicing – The Start of a Trend?”