Interview with Rachelle Cantet, Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder of Entoma Petfood
Tell us how you got involved in the edible insects sector
I worked before in agri-commodities finance and I learn about this new innovative protein coming from insects which is an eco-friendly way to feed animals!
I am also in love with pets and I was as interested as the co-founder, Luxidan, to create a new pet food solution for sensitive cats and dogs made with sustainable insects.
Luxidan, our co-founder, actually get involved with insects in Denmark, when his dog (Hank) started to develop food allergies. As insects are hypoallergenic for dogs, he actually started to cook treats with an insect meal to Hank and when he saw the amazing results of his recipe… Entoma Petfood was born!
Why pet food?
Because insects are:
Our protein source is of the highest quality and contains the important fatty acids, minerals and fibers that your dog needs. It also has a high content of essential amino acids and omega 3-6-9, which is good for your dog the fur and at the same time can strengthen the dog’s immune system.
Over 15,000 liters of water are used for the production of 1kg of beef…when the production of 1kg of insects meal max requires 5-10 liters. Isn’t it amazing?
At the same time, there are also 100 times less CO2 emitted. Fresh air for the planet. And you, and your dog, of course.
The insect proteins we use have a delicious nutty flavour. We combined it with natural ingredients like banana, ginger, carrots or apple to give an exciting taste experience to our dogs!
How do they know that doggo likes it? Because its mouth, water every time that we have the treats in our pocket… (and yes, this is our main taste test!)
Have you ever heard of a dog being allergic to insects ? Nor we did!
In fact, the insects are also an hypoallergenic protein source, as no dogs have yet developed allergy to this protein type. Since the insect meat is healthy and comes in flour, it is easily digestible due to its amino acids profile and therefore safe for your dog to consume as daily nutritional solution
Do you farm insects your own?
We don’t, we are pet food producer, not yet insect grower, and we wish to accomplish our mission the best we can! We choose carefully our suppliers, according to EU laws for Petfood, and traceability is also in our quality charter. The hermetia Illucens we use are produced locally, in Europe, and we have different suppliers in The Netherlands, France and Germany.
Do you think that soon the traditional big players of the petfood industry will enter in this market?
We know they are already working on it, especially brand specialised for vets, as this type of protein is hypoallergenic.
You should see first, pioneer startup, like us, who will prove to the pet‘s owners all the benefits of insects as a protein source, and then the big player will be more comfortable to invest in this innovation.
What’s your opinion on the development of human entomophagy in the West?
We strongly believe of the interest of insects as eco-friendly and qualitative protein source for humans. Eating insects are appreciated in Tropical countries, but unfortunately is not part of the cuisine culture in occidental countries. Eating insects is new, and for now, only startups are proposing such food type and only Millenials seem interested in this new cuisine. Therefore, eating insects in the West should take time, but more we will propose insects as alternative protein to people (in energy bars, pasta, to feed the salmon they are eating, and for their pets) more it will become successful!
At Entoma petfood we also work hard in creating synergies with other insect companies in order to make this innovative protein more common.
What are your plans for the future?
In 2018, we have proposed to our customer two types of snacks with hermetia illucens as a unique protein source: Training treats (to reward your dog!) and beauty snacks (for a healthy skin and a shiny coat), in May 8th 2018, we will launch at Interzoo in Nuremberg, our Natural dry food for adult dogs.
Before end of the year 2018, we will propose as well natural dry food for adult cats.
The company is 1.5 years old an the main challenge we had was to change our production unit from small to big scale, especially for treats production. We are mainly selling to retailers and distributors for now, but we wish to develop other sales channels such as Veterinarians and e-commerce. Our nutritional solutions will be soon available in your national pet shops in Denmark, Belgium, France, The UK and hopefully more.
In 2019, the big challenges are coming for Entoma petfood! We have planned to propose natural dental sticks, wet food for dogs and cats and most probably puppy and kitten nutritional solutions made with our sustainable insects.
We are targeting also international markets such as North America, Brazil and Asia. And our packages are already translated in 15 languages.
Entoma Petfood wish to become the world leader in insect based petfood from formulation of recipes, production methods to Marketing.