In order to help families struggling with the cost of living crisis, popular supermarket Aldi is considering selling edible insects. Low prices are what the giant supermarket is best known for. Now, that might change as Aldi is weighing up stocking insect recipe kits to give customers the choice to chow down on a cricket or two.
If it sees it through, Aldi would stock Yum Bug’s insect recipe kits, founded by Aaron Thomas and Leo Taylor. The two 28-year-olds beat off hundreds of applicants to appear on Channel 4 ’s ‘Aldi’s Next Big Thing’ tomorrow. They could soon see their product on Aldi shelves across the U.K. if they win. Mr. Thomas has said, speaking out about their hopes for success, that they want to take insects “mainstream.”
“We’re on a mission to change perceptions of insects as food; they’re one of the most sustainable protein sources in the world,” said Mr. Thomas, from Islington, London. “Crickets are up to 70 percent protein, which is three times the amount of protein found in beef. They’ve also got more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk, and the list keeps going. They are an incredible superfood,” he explained.
“We want to take bug consumption mainstream. If we’re able to get in front of Aldi’s audience, that would be an amazing opportunity,” Mr. Thomas added. “Aaron and I have been cooking with insects for years – it started in 2017 with weekends experimenting out of my parents’ garage, cooking up all sorts of recipes, and posting content online,” said Mr. Thomas, and continued. “We then sold our first insect recipe boxes out of our bedrooms in lockdown, and that’s really where everything snowballed.”
If successful, the next time Brits sit down with their family for dinner, they could pick up some crickets to add to their favorite dish. The market for edible insects could be worth £4.6 billion by 2030, the United Nations says, and two billion people already eat the little critters as part of their diet.
But there were temporarily no laws regulating the consumption of insects in the UK, because of Brexit, which means that they were outlawed on a technicality. This led to companies like Horizon Insects being forced to kill off 100kgs of mealworms and stop sales. But the Foods Standard Agency set out plans this summer to get them back onto the market.
This opened the door to some of the insects appearing on Aldi’s shelves. Exactly six insects were back on the menu, including the lesser mealworm, house cricket, yellow mealworm, banded or decorated cricket, and migratory locust, according to Mirror.
Both of the businessmen will appear on the show, hosted by Anita Rani and Chris Bavin for the six-part TV series, where we will see suppliers compete in categories like dinners, baked goods, treats, and store cupboard essentials. They will present to the Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, Julie Ashfield, who will whittle down the contestants before they make their final pitch to her, deciding which products will appear in the store.