Roasted crickets are now on the menu at Sainsbury’s as it becomes the first UK supermarket to stock edible insects.
The barbequed flavoured bugs, described as “crunchy in texture with a rich smoky flavour”, will be sold in 250 stores across the country from Sunday.
Each packet will cost £1.50.
Sainsbury’s suggested that the novel product could be eaten as a snack or used to garnish dishes such as tacos, noodles and salads.
The supermarket claims this is the first time that shoppers will be able to buy Eat Grub’s consumable insect products from a major grocer.
A survey commissioned by Sainsbury’s and EatGrub suggested 10% of British people have tried edible insects, of which more than half said they enjoyed them.
About two in five (42%) shoppers were open to trying edible bugs, with seven percent even prepared to add them to a weekly shop.
Insect snacks should no longer be seen as a gimmick or something for a dare, and it’s clear that consumers are increasingly keen to explore this new sustainable protein source
Edible insects already form part of diets around the world, with the global market estimated to exceed £406 million by 2023.
Eat Grub says that gram for gram its dried crickets contain more protein than beef, chicken and pork – with 100g containing 68g of protein, compared to 31g of protein in beef.
Edible insects are also considered a sustainable food source, requiring less resources to farm than cattle or other livestock.
Duncan Williamson, a global food system expert and food policy manager at WWF UK, said edible insects could help reduce shoppers’ carbon footprint.
“As the population increases, we urgently need to look at alternative protein sources to make the most of land available for food production,” he said.
Rachel Eyre, head of future brands at Sainsbury’s, said: “Insect snacks should no longer be seen as a gimmick or something for a dare, and it’s clear that consumers are increasingly keen to explore this new sustainable protein source.”
Eat Grub was launched in 2014 by co-founders Shami Radia and Neil Whippey with the aim to introduce insects to western food culture.
The pair previously teamed up with chef Sebby Holmes to open an insect-themed pop-up restaurant in east London.