[CHALLENGE] Marketing insect protein to help people see the nutritional and environmental benefits of insects as a sustainable food source


As a part of the OSCEdays challenges in Vancouver, Canada, one of the topics we are brainstorming was of getting people to eat nutrition products made by upcycling food processing runoff using insects.

It comes down to a simple equation. On the left side is people’s unease with eating insects. On the right side is people’s desire to make a difference, help the environment, and be perceived as challengers of the status quo.

The question lies in how do we tip the balance in our favour?
We need to make the left side smaller and right side bigger: Unease with eating insects < Desire to make a difference


The insects used are black soldier fly larvae and are processed at the the stage before they turn into a fly. The larvae are in a dormant state when they are at that stage of development and that is when they are heated and pressurized in order to dry out. Once the heating and pressure process is complete they can then be formed into a powder or an oil.

  • Nutrional Benefits
    The end product, either powder or oil, has more protein than beef, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, and extremely high in fibre and prebiotic.
    The Heilu oil product is very similar to the fatty acid structure of that in coconut oil. At this point the oil is further being developed to alter a desired taste and consistency.

  • Sustainability
    For those interested in being more sustainable this is a product to reduce your impact when seeking protein. The larvae require no additional water to grow, the insects can be produced anywhere, and they do not require a lot of space. Additionally they do not produce green house gases and can feed off of unwanted grocery store by product, such as bruised fruits or vegetables, or food about to go bad including bread and other products.


Main Question
How to reduce the “ick” factor surrounding insects?
Create a product derived from insects.

  • This has already been established and is in the form of oil and powder products

Developed Question
How to have people talk about the product?
Identify the market of people that would be interested in this product

  1. Capitalize on the “ick” factor for those that are intrigued by insects
  2. The sustainable consumer
  3. The health focused consumer
  4. Those that already eat insects

How to encourage people to try the product?

  1. Test the marketability of the product on the different markets addressed. IE market the “ick” factor versus marketing the nutritional value factor
  2. Host a focus group to try the product and get feedback

How to Market the product once it has been approved and the target market is chosen

  • Have local stores sell the product
  • Advertise to the adventure stores as a hiking product, light weight and nutritional
  • Have bloggers promote the product
  • Get celebrity endorsement - Athletes
  • Cooking competition using the products
  • Cookbook for ideas of what to cook with the product
  • Brand value to be used in additional products, such as protein powder shakes, granola bars, salad dressing ect.
  • Donate food product based on food product sold

Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated!!


I often think about how to incorporate insects more into our daily meals. Unfortunately we have a hard time sourcing insects in Germany, less than the rather expensive pet food for exotic animals.
What would be the easiest insects to grow in a green house? And how are they easily harvested?

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