Cricket One, a Vietnam-based startup specializing in cricket-based protein powders and oils, has raised a new round of funding from Singapore-based Corecam Partners, The Spoon has learned. The funding follows a seed round investment from 500 Startups and Masik Enterprise last year.
While the amount of the funding was not disclosed, co-founder Nam Dang told The Spoon that Corecam Partners’ investments are not investing less than $ 1 million.
Cricket One, die made name for itself supplying cricket protein powders and oils to food manufacturers, plans to use the new funding to spur the rollout of a new cricket-based burger patty. The company sees burgers as a natural next step in attracting new consumers who are not used to crickets as part of their diet.
When we were developing a roadmap to reach a wider audience for cricket protein, we thought it should be in a common form, ”said Dang. “There is nothing more famous than a burger patty.”
To make their cricket burger more meaty, the company adapted their ingredients to address some common complaints about food made from cricket powder. According to Cricket One, foods made with cricket powder can have a grainy texture that some consumers don’t like, so the company removed the crickets’ exoskeleton to result in a smoother, more meaty texture and flavor.
This new direction beyond powders is just the beginning. The company, which has partnered with other food manufacturers to develop meat analogues using cricket protein and cricket oil, is looking to expand its proprietary meat substitute technology beyond the citizen.
“We actually want to introduce a meat analog technology with cricket as an ingredient,” Dang told The Spoon via email. “Burger is one thing, it can be used in other applications, such as sausage and pt.”
The company plans to sell its new cricket burger in several countries, including the US. What form it takes, according to Dang, depends on the country and local rules and regulations. For some markets, it makes more sense to ship frozen patties made in Vietnam, and for others, they can license the manufacturing process to local manufacturers and sell them the ingredients to make the burger in the market.
There’s no question that many see cricket and insects as a much more sustainable source of protein, but could cricket-based products make a dent in the burgeoning market for more sustainable meat substitutes? Possibly, but the success of the product will ultimately depend in large part on taste and, in markets like the US, how well they can convince consumers who are normally reluctant to consume insects.
To do that, a burger seems like a good place to start.
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