A Thai startup shows how delivering high protein food to increasingly health-conscious consumers can be good for business.
“Our company offers tomorrow’s food to health-conscious consumers, and we ensure that all production processes are eco-friendly,” explains Kanapon Kunnadilokkan, Chief Account Officer of The Bricket, which sells high-protein cricket powder.
Before establishing the Thai food startup in 2018, Kunnadilokkan studied the cricket market in Thailand for four years. He discovered that Thailand was the global leader in terms of cricket farms with around 23,000 farms nationwide.
Normally, the price of fresh crickets in Thailand is about 90 to 120 baht per kilogram (US$2.80 to US$3.80) while cricket powder sold in the Europe fetches around 3,000 to 5,000 baht per kilogram (US$96-US160).
“I saw both the gap and an opportunity in the market, therefore, I decided to develop a standard farming system for crickets,” he explains.
“Cricket powder is used as a substitute for meat. It is an excellent source of protein, calcium, vitamin B12, iron and prebiotic fibre,” he adds.
The company owns a closed-system cricket farm in Bangkok, which produces 40 kilograms of fresh crickets each month. This will be processed into 10 kilograms of cricket protein powder. It also has 10 contracted cricket farms that supply it with raw materials.
“One of our business goals is to develop a farming system, which will be used by farmers across the country. Now, most of our revenue comes from selling the farming system,” he says.
Kunnadilokkan claims that the company’s farming system allows farmers to control all factors that affect the lifecycle of a cricket, such as temperature, space and food. In this way they can ensure a constant supply of good quality raw material.
Apart from the farming system, The Bricket produces and distributes several cricket-based foods, such as brownies, mixed pork and cricket sausage, cricket protein powder and frozen cricket.
“Our sausages consist of 90% pork and 10% cricket powder. We plan to launch a 100% cricket burger in October,” he says. “We will have a burger food truck, inviting people to try cricket-based food, as well as promoting and selling our products on a Facebook page with deliveries throughout Bangkok.”
Kunnadilokkan adds that the company’s strength lies in its strong supply chain from the upstream (standard farming system) to downstream (processed food).
“We understand what consumers need and their consumption patterns. We offer better choices for them and they do not have to change their way of eating at all,” he explains. “Now, consumers want to know as much as they can about a product, such as where we get the raw materials. Our trace-back system ensures them that our raw material comes from GAP certified farms,” he explains.
The Bricket’s main markets are health-conscious consumers, who use cricket protein instead of whey protein, children who want more protein, and the elderly.
“We want to supply cricket farming systems to farmers around the world as well as offering cricket-based food to consumers,” he concludes.
For more information, contact: [email protected]
Words by Somhatai Mosika
Photos courtesy of The Bricket