Massimo Reverberi, founder of Bugsolutely talks to Horizon about his pasta product, which is been hailed as a new superfood.
Can you tell us a little bit aboutBugsolutely?
Our company was established in 2015 under the brand Bugsolutely, as a producer of a unique cricket pasta. We have collaborated with Khon Kaen University in managing the breeding farm, and with Kasetsart University in processing.
Why did you choose crickets?
They have a high protein value of up to 65%, and contain calcium, iron, vitamin B12 and omega 3. Recently, crickets have become more accepted by consumers worldwide in processed food and this has made it easier for people to try these new bug products. Crickets are also environmentally friendly, for they require 1,000 times less water and 10 times less food than cows, and have a much shorter rearing period.
Why did you choose to establish your business in Thailand?
Thailand was chosen because it ranks among the top global producers of insects. There are over 20,000 cricket breeding farms here nationwide, with an annual capacity of between 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes of crickets. I think Thailand is probably the biggest producer of crickets for human consumption in the world.
What are the unique selling points of Bugsolutely?
Our pasta is a perfect combination of wheat flour and 20% cricket flour, and has a certified standard of research and production. It provides a similar texture and colour to that of wholewheat pasta, but contains twice as much fibre compared to regular pasta. It is suitable for consumers of all ages.
What challenges have you encountered while promoting this new product?
It was difficult to penetrate the processed food market during the early stages as consumers are not yet familiar with this type of food despite the fact that crickets are anatomically similar to shrimps, but they are cleaner and raised in reliable farms. However, after launching and promoting our products, we have started to receive positive feedback worldwide from both consumers and chefs who are curious to try this new type of pasta to create a variety of dishes. Most of them were surprised and impressed how good it tasted.
What are your future plans?
We are planning to distribute the pasta around the world to countries such as the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, all of which are interested in insect food products and have already given permission to import insects for consumption. We are also continuing to develop our products to cater to current and future consumption demands.
For more information, please visit, www.bugsolutely.com
Photo courtesy of Bugsolutely