Delhaize launches line of insect products

Summary

Delhaize is the first supermarket in Flanders to sell products made from one of the insects approved for consumption last year

Mealworms on the shelves

Delhaize will this week become the first supermarket chain in Flanders to launch a range of products based on insect protein. The chain will offer two sorts of savoury spread, branded Green Bugs, both containing mealworms.

The spreads, despite clearly stating their origin on the label, contain no identifiable insect parts. They come in two flavours – tomato and carrot – and look more like jars of baby food than anything creepy-crawly. The spreads cost €3.45 for 125 grams. The tomato spread contains about 6% of ground mealworm, while the carrot version contains only 4%.

“Products made from insects are trending at the moment, and Delhaize wants to reaffirm its role as a pioneer in the field of food retailing,” said spokesperson Roel Dekelver. The move also fits in, he said, with the company’s strategy of seeking nutritional and sustainable alternatives.

The announcement puts Delhaize narrowly ahead of Damhert, a company based in Heusden-Zolder in Limburg, which yesterday announced that it would be selling three new insect products from October in local supermarkets. The Damhert range consists of nuggets, burgers and schnitzels made from buffalo worms.

The buffalo worm was one of 10 insect species approved for human consumption last year by the federal food safety agency. Both buffalo worms and mealworms are beetle larvae.

“There’s nothing you can see to suggest there are insects in the product,” assured Lisa Lamorgese of Damhert. “The worms are first freeze-dried and then ground up. The rest of the process is identical to the use of other meat substitutes.”

photo courtesy Delhaize

Delhaize is the first supermarket in Flanders to sell products made from one of the insects approved for consumption last year.

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