The number of start-ups creating insect-based products is becoming an increasingly crowded space but La Criqueterie says it has a key differentiator. Its insects are 100% made in France.
“We decided we wanted to work with local insect breeders only,” said the founder of La Criqueterie, Clement Lakhal.
The insects are fed organic fruit and vegetables only meaning that, while there is no official certification for insects, they are essentially organic, Lakhal said.
Currently a one-man outfit with Lakhal at the helm, the start-up sells sharing boxes of crickets in a range of flavours including honey & cinnamon, curry and Provencal herbs, and grilled mealworms available in wasabi, barbecue or sundried tomato & basil flavour.
La Criqueterie [the Cricket House] sells via its website as well as in regional deli and organic shops. In the run-up to Christmas, the products were listed in French supermarket giant Auchan where it shifted over 1000 units at €6.90 per packet.
Importantly, it’s not just curiosity or the novelty factor that is driving sales. Lakhal said he has noticed a significant number of repeat buyers through the start-up’s e-commerce portal.
Once the brand is more established, he is keen to develop “a number of products that meet everyday needs, such as cereal bars with insect protein”.
At the minute, demand currently outstrips supply, Lakhal said, as there are only three insect breeders in France producing around 20 kg per month. Overcoming this challenge will also be crucial to the start-up’s success.