A short talk with Christian Bartsch, Essento founder
You’re partnering with the giant of supermarkets Coop, that starting from March will sell your ento-products on its shelves in Switzerland. I think many are wondering: how did you do it?
Working with a big partner requires a lot of patience and good work. Important for us was that we decided to work fulltime with a wide range of skilled people developing the products as well as the brand. This made us a reliable partner.
Which products will you market and why?
We will offer Essento Burger (an insect based hamburger) and Essento Balls (insect based balls). Market research conducted with the University of Applied Sciences of Berne as well as the University of Berne have shown that consumers are much more open to consume insects when they are processed. With our product we provide delicious insect products in a familiar shape.
What do you expect, also in terms of sales volumes (if it’s possible to know), from this partnership?
We cannot disclose any information at the moment.
Do you think that at the moment being out of the EU is an advantage for a company working with edible insects?
Well regarding the timing – it allows us to gain valuable market insights on how people are reacting to such products, but this is possible as well in Belgium or the Netherlands. Regarding export, not being part of the EU makes it a bit harder for us. But we will see on how this is going to develop over time.
Are there plans to expand the partnership in other EU countries?
At the moment we are focusing on Switzerland – we believe you need to have a home market and proof that the demand is large enough to run a company. Of course we are in discussions with different partners in Europe to look on how a market entry can be made.
(Product pic: Coop)