The sustainable foods company produces brownies and crackers using high-protein cricket flour made by insect farmers in Costa Rica 
Aerial shot of Bbite brownie and cracker products
Photo as seen on Bbite’s Facebook page

Bbite Foods is launching a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo as it gears up for hitting the UK market with a range of high-protein brownies and crackers made with cricket flour from insects farmed in Costa Rica. The company seeks to raise £250,000 and the campaign is set to go live in September.

A British start-up, Bbite is the brainchild of Alejandro Ortega and Daniela Arias, two Costa Rican entrepreneurs and owners of Sibö, a biotechnology company developing new, efficient and clean biomaterials for the food industry.

“Bbite was created to produce healthy, sustainable and tasty solutions to solve malnutrition and food scarcity,” Ortega told NutritionInvestor. “Our products are created using cricket powder produced by insect farmers in Costa Rica.”

Ortega explained that the high-protein cricket powder is collected from Costa Rican insect farmers that are members of the National Insect Farmers Programme. 

“The programme benefits families and women who farmed insects in rural areas of Costa Rica. They get support and leadership training,” said Ortega. “We buy all their production, so they get decent work and a consistent source of income.”

Ortega also explained that Bbite is supported by a network of companies in Costa Rica and the UK.

“In Costa Rica, we have partnerships with Impact Hub San José, UNED, Fundecooperación,  TEC (Institute of Technology of Costa Rica), with GIZ and the US Embassy in Costa Rica,” he said.

“In the UK, we’re working with the UK Government, which has opened the doors for us to create a really big impact,” said Ortega. “We are collaborating with The University of Birmingham and also with Birmingham Enterprise Community as we are part of the accelerator programme Forward.”

Ortega said Bbite is in talks with a food manufacturer, and that the business is always looking for new collaboration opportunities.

A British sustainable company

Headquartered in Birmingham, Bbite is developing traditional snacks and food ingredients powered by the nutritional profile of cricket powder. The product line comprises brownies, crackers, and pancake and cake mixes. Cricket pasta and protein extracts are in the pipeline.

Ortega told NutritionInvestor that Bbite products have 10% protein. The Bbite brownie, for example, delivers 10 times the protein content of a traditional brownie. 

“Our products also have Vitamin B12, iron, zinc, fibre, and other essential amino acids for good nutrition,” said Ortega. “What’s amazing is that these products are usually a guilty pleasure, but we have turned them into a healthy one.”

On the sustainable front, Ortega said that Bbite’s production uses 2,000 times less water and produces 100 times less carbon emissions compared with the same amount of livestock protein.

The go-to-market plan

Ortega said that Bbite’s Indiegogo campaign is part of the company’s commercialisation strategy.

“Our go-to-market plan starts with pre-sales through the crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, currently in the pre-launch stage. People can subscribe to get notified for when it opens and to get additional discounts for the pre-sale.”

The Indiegogo campaign is set to go live in September. “Products will be delivered in October, and by mid-November, we plan to get into convenience stores,” said Ortega.

Bbite Foods aims to consolidate its presence in the UK with three products: cricket crackers, brownies, and the pancake mix with cricket powder.

“By the second quarter of 2021, we plan to enter the EU market, initially in The Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland, and we will be planning to enter the US market very soon after that,” said Ortega. 

Bbite Foods also aims to launch a second wave of products, including cricket pasta, and a 100% protein powder as well as new products for the initial product line.

Date published: 1 September 2020

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