Can packaging persuade you to eat more insects, bugs and creepy-crawlers?

Now that’s an interesting question. I would say yes it can and if you throw in a better word for these creatures you will increase your chances to build a market.

In a FAO report from last year it’s made clear that we need to get used to the idea of getting protein and nutrition from insects. As a matter of fact crickets have more vitamins and minerals and as much protein as chicken. And that with a much smaller carbon footprint. Not bad.

This sounds great but is still in most consumers eyes, appalling. It is however estimated that as many as 2 billion people are already into the habit of eating insects. The challenge is to get a foothold with insect based food on the markets in the developed world.  There are a few brave suppliers but without a general distribution it’s hard. To build up the demand I think you need to leave the packaging design often used today. That is with illustrations of what’s inside. A picture is worth a thousand words… so be careful with the message.

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I think that the best example I have seen so far, from a packaging point of view, is what they are doing at SexyFood i Paris. They are using the good old food can but smarting it up with a label that communicates luxury and gourmet food. Black is the colour and some gold added for effect. No illustrations of the worms, crickets and bugs you will find inside. They are even playing down the content by naming their products with numbers rather than names. Stewed worms with added cockroach or number 9. Which sounds better?

I don’t think their products yet has made a big difference but they do show the way when it comes to packaging design. Use the power of packaging, but aim before firing.

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Too good to be true?

A bag made of CO2 emissions? Packaging that is actually not only economical with the world’s resources but it also takes harmful emissions out.

The Australian firm Cardia Bioplastics has according to several packaging news sites developed something called CO2S resin is made from emissions. CO2 emissions are captured and turned into a polypropylene carbonate (PPC) polymer. This is then blended with starch and turned into a resin and then used to produce a biodegradable bag.

Apparently a first successful production run has taken place and now they are looking for a commercial partner.

This sounds like an opportunity that comes right in time. It is an innovative enough product to have a potential novelty value that easily can be underestimated. Consumers can balance their carbon footprint by using more packaging. Too good to be true… This can only be beaten by packaging made from recovered oil from the Gulf.