Alternative proteins in the post Covid-19 era

In just a few weeks, the global COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything, including how we shop and interact with brands and products.

Many experts predict that there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future of the alternative protein sector in the world after Covid-19. Even in the midst of the ongoing pandemic that has affected the food industry and large parts of the global economy, investors have invested large amounts of capital in start-ups in the alternative protein sector, and consumers’ interest in alternative protein has increased.

Global Bugs Holding AB, based in Stockholm, is one of the world’s largest producers of alternative protein based on cricket powder. The two subsidiaries in Thailand, Global Bugs Asia and Global Bugs Trading, produce and distribute 10 tonnes of cricket powder per year. After a fully subscribed new issue of shares in the parent company, the Global Bugs will be able to increase its yearly production to 350 tonnes per year, where the APAC is the largest market, with Europe and North America as the fastest growing markets. Presently, 350 tonnes of cricket powder has a market value of about 10 musd. With automated large-scale and low cost production the company expects to be able to lower the production cost dramatically.

Our Cricket Powder originates from our own farmed crickets, grinded into 100% pure powder. Our farm and process factory are both certified for highest food safety according to GAP and GMP/HACCP, respectively.

In addition to these certificates, our cricket powder is also approved by the Thai FDA and was further lab tested in Brussels with purpose to be used in the Novel Food application for Acheta Domesticus sent to, and to be approved by, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) from the Belgian Insect Industry Federation (BiiF), where Global Bugs is a member. We have also received a “Seal of Excellence” from the EU framework for Research and Innovation

By the end of 2020, the EFSA and EU will introduce harmonized rules for so-called “Novel Food”. Then it is also allowed in Sweden to buy and consume insects as snacks or as a food ingredient in bread, pasta etc, which we as a Swedish company are looking forward to.

In APAC, Global Bug’s customers mainly use the cricket powder to increase the nutritional content of typical Asian food such as noodles and dumplings as it contains more calcium than milk, more magnesium and nearly twice as much iron than spinach, twice as much phosphorus and vitamin B12 than tuna and more potassium than beet greens.

The powder also contains 19 amino acids including all essential 9, where the content of the vital acid Lysine is 3.24 % which is equal to a ribeye steak found on the 10th place of the 200 foods highest in Lysine. On top of this, the powder contains twice as much vitamin B3 than beef and nearly twice as much vitamin B2 than almonds.

In the development of the new large scale and low cost production facility, the EntoPark, we have the Swedish ABB and Stockholm-based Berotec as strategic partners. We are also a strategic partner in a project in Sweden that aims to grow salmon and vegetables in a circular economy where our cricket powder will replace unsustainable proteins such as fish- and soymeal for the salmon feed. This circular economy will fully developed produce 20,000 tonnes of salmon and be sold as quality salmon on the Swedish market.