Interview with Christine Spliid, Crobar–Gathrfood founder
Tell us shortly about the idea behind the company and why you decided to bet on edible insects
I had seen firsthand for the first time how people in Cambodia were eating such a vast array of insects, when I travelled there two years ago, and was overwhelmed about how prevalent eating insects is. I didn’t immediately connect the dots, but I follow food trends closely and noticed how Dutch and American companies were slowly starting to incorporate insects in food in different ways, and when I started researching the environmental benefits, I was sold. The arguments are so powerful, and the barriers, being mainly psychological, really appealed to me as my background is in psychology. I thought that it would be such a worthwhile challenge to try and change people’s mindsets, and I intuitively felt that promoting cricket flour is the first step on this journey.
I am so excited to be part of a movement which makes people’s lives better in a sustainable, long- term way.
What products are you actually marketing?
We have four flavours of Crobar, which are our natural protein bars with cricket flour. We also sell the cricket flour loose, which people use in their own recipes.
Which is your best-seller flavour?
Raspberry and Peanut.
What’s your perception of the consumers acceptance of the insects-based products?
Having done consumer shows and tastings in stores for the past 18 months, I can see a big shift in perception amongst the public. People have now heard about this trend from more and more places, they understand the main benefits of insects (protein+environment), and are less scared to try.
Do you expect some market or normative advantages/disadvantages after the Brexit?
It is hard to predict. Our international sales have actually picked up, given the pounds is weak compared to the euro, so there will be both positives and negatives.
What are your projects for the future?
We want to launch other products which contain cricket flour, like crisps, crackers and bread.
And what do you think about the future of entomophagy in Europe?
We did a show last week, FoodMatersLive in London, where 12 insect brands were participating. Last year it was 3. Clearly a lot is happening in this field, and the more companies from different European countries can help develop this emerging market, the better. We need the food laws to change things in our favour in 2 years time, and I am working to help make this happen.