The Common Question
The first question everyone asks Jorge and I when we tell them about our products is always the same:
How will you convince people to eat bugs?
It’s certainly a good question. We’ve thought a lot about it and continue to research it, but we think we have a pretty good answer:
We give them a sample.
Unfortunately, we’re starting to realize there’s another question we may not have the time or patience to overcome.
The Bigger Question
As I’ve shared with you in previous updates, our products are made by feeding clean and safe food scraps to an amazing insect that grows from the relative size of a baby chick to that of a tiger in only a couple of weeks. Because of this, it can be produced at very low cost. An increasingly well funded race is under way to be the first to rear this insect en masse as a sustainable and natural source of nutrients for the animal feed industry.
But that’s animal feed. Jorge and I are working on human food, and that’s turning out to be more expensive than we thought.
Our big question now is:
How do we make it affordable?
The Unpleasant Surprise
A couple months ago, I excitedly wrote you the news that the food product development team Jorge and I hired had managed to create an amazing oil. Since we had instructed them to stick to affordable methods for creating the oil, we thought we had our answer. That's why we excitedly offered to send you samples.
Our excitement was short-lived. When we asked them to make us a 10 kg batch, they got back to us with a quote of $100/kg! Sorry guys, but you’re not getting any samples at that cost.
The product development team did tell us that if we were to produce a sixty ton batch, it would "only" cost $5/kg. Leaving aside the unlikelihood of us ever doing batches of sixty tons, even that's not very cheap. It still doesn't include the cost of raw materials, packing, and distribution—all of which are also going to be expensive and difficult since we're the first and only ones doing this.
We're learning that introducing a brand new product to the world is one thing, but that creating a whole new supply chain for it is another. The supply chain part is turning out to be the real challenge.
But if it wasn't challenging it'd be boring, right? We've got some ideas we're working on and, as always, we'll keep you updated on any progress (or lack thereof).
We could use your help though. We're looking for companies in the Vancouver area that may be able to collaborate with us in making small batches of oil. If you can think of anyone who might be able to help us do so, please let us know.
Thanks for reading!
Chris & Jorge