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#IntersectTalks: Meet edibl


edibl henry ayres cover image

We’d love to hear about your company, what do you do exactly?


edibl was founded with the vision of locally producing sustainable protein.


We farm and process edible insects, currently focusing on crickets, using our vertical farming and automation technologies to produce high-quality low-environmental impact protein and extracts.


We sell these ingredients directly to human and pet food producers for inclusion in their products.


How would you describe the problem your company solves in words that a 10-year-old could understand?


Humans and pets need to eat protein to be healthy, grow, and repair themselves, and mostly get this from eating meat.


But meat production already has a huge negative impact on our planet’s environment and ecology. As the human population increasingly grows, this problem is only worsening. 


Alternative sources of protein, like insects, are a perfect solution to this problem.


How did the company journey start?

My co-founder had already started HOP cricket protein bars and wanted to source their insects from the UK to keep the bars as sustainable as possible.


This just wasn’t feasible. We all share a passion for the environment and want to make a positive change to our food system.


One thing led to another and we set up a pilot cricket farm in a London warehouse.


henry ayres at UK awards

Who do you hope will use your products and services in the future?

We currently sell to pet food manufacturers for inclusion in canine and feline products.


This enables them to develop sustainable food that is actually healthier for their pets than traditional meat pet food.


We are also in discussions with human food producers aiming to develop sustainable protein options.


In the future, we hope to see these types of products stocked on supermarket shelves and on restaurant menus in much the same way as we see vegetarian alternatives today.


In particular, we see that crickets offer the best option in terms of high-quality nutrients and acceptability for both pet and human consumption.


 

Why did you choose this type of product over another? (for example, if you’re an insect feed producer, why did you choose to be a feed producer over insect food for human consumption?)

We recognise that in the future, there will be plenty of room for many kinds of novel foods, and no doubt much of that comes from multiple species of insects.


At the moment, species like BSFL are front runners in supplying bulk animal fees cheaply and commodity foods for pets - but as the market defines itself, we see that crickets as a source of protein will have distinct premium qualities in terms of health and palatability.


Many pets and most humans are fussy eaters and we see crickets as being the closest insect to having gastronomic value - they are already a well-established delicacy in other parts of the world.


We may be slow on the uptake here in the Western world, but without a doubt, crickets will be flying off the shelves of supermarkets and restaurants in the medium term.


edibl container

What types of profiles did you seek to build your existing team? Why do you think people want to join you on your mission?


Often, we have naturally found the members of our team. People care about the planet and when they hear about what we are trying to do, they absolutely love it and want to help us on this journey.


Those who are driven problem solvers stick out from the crowd and make sure we know they want to be involved.


In one sentence, how would you encourage people to use your product(s)?

Pet owners are demanding sustainable and healthy products; our insect protein is sustainable, high-quality hypoallergenic, and antibiotic-free.


Could you share an anecdote with us? (An epic success, an epic fail, a funny day?)

As a company, we believe that insect-based food is the future and I tell everyone that within 5 years we’ll be seeing it on restaurant menus.


However,  the other day, my partner and I went out for dinner at a food market and spotted a nice-looking taco place.


Okay - I thought - what to have?


Maybe I’ll have two options and we can share a third?  I looked down at the menu and there… listed first in the meat section… cricket tacos!


They tasted amazing. And low and behold, the future is already here!


cricket taco henry ayres

Finally, how optimistic are you about the insect industry and why?


Extremely, of course! When I explain what I do to people, the majority of people tell me insects are indeed the future of protein - which is hugely validating! 


I see the future of the insect industry as similar to that of milk alternatives over the last 5 – 10 years. It was a rarely seen and often considered an odd niche taste -  now we see them in every supermarket and coffee bar!


Insects likewise will quickly become a key part of our sustainable food system.







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