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Dispatches from Vitafoods Europe 2014

Gorgeous grub: We need to make insect consumption 'sexy' to consumers

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By Nathan Gray+

12-May-2014
Last updated the 12-May-2014 at 16:14 GMT

Growing interest in the potential for insects as a source of healthy and sustainable protein was demonstrated again at Vitafoods Europe, where 4ento CEO Ana Day told us that insect consumption needs to become 'sexy'.

Speaking with FoodNavigator at the show, Day said the recent interest in insects as food by some parts of the food industry has partly been due to reports from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) backing the use of insects as a sustainable source of protein for the future.

However, the 4ento CEO added that the regulatory environment in many countries is holding back the development of a solid supply chain currently.

"What we are doing is promoting, and educating people about edible insects, [and] waiting for the regulations to be ready to make it legal to sell it.”

Day said that when it comes to human consumption of insects (opposed to the use of insects in animal feed), the greatest challenges remain in the marketing of insects and insect protein to help get over the ‘yuk’ factor.

“It’s definitely a lot of marketing and a lot of education so that the cultural barrier and the ‘yuk’ factor are softened, so that there are more opportunities,” she said.

“Or to make it so sexy that people would just like to be part of it. But that is part of the marketing.”

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