Costa Rica Seeks to Develop the Edible Insect Marketing Industry

    As part of the National Discover program

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    The Foreign Trade Promoter of Costa Rica (Procomer) highlighted this past week the country’s potential to develop the industry for the commercialization of edible insects such as cricket and mealworm, recognized for being alternative proteins.

    The authorities reported that as part of the Discover program, the cricket (Acheta domesticus) and mealworm (Zophobas morio and Tenebrio molitor) were added to the list of exotic species, which opens the opportunity to produce and market products made to base of these insects and develop the industry.

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    Already developing

    “In Costa Rica we can already begin to develop an industry based on insects (…) The initiative apart from promoting development processes, transformation and technical advice in companies in the agricultural, livestock and fishing sectors; It also aims to eliminate bottlenecks that hinder innovation in agricultural activities”, said the Minister of Foreign Trade.

    The work will be joint with the institutions of the agricultural sector, in the construction and revision of the lists of animals of insect species, a fundamental aspect to guarantee to the citizens that the import, export and management of them is done in an environmentally friendly way.

    “As part of the promotion of production and diversification of the national economy, crickets and mealworms are included in the list of exotic ornamentals for human and animal consumption, but there is also the responsibility to control and verify public and animal health, as well as, the biosecurity and innocuousness of the by-products”, said the director of the Metropolitan Directorate of the National Animal Health Service, Danilo Leandro.

    Marked preferences

    According to the Procomer study “Trends and innovations in the food industry 2020” before the Pandemic there were seven marked preferences regarding food consumption, one of them known as “plant-based and alternative proteins”, which highlights insects groceries.

    The experts explained that insects will continue in consumer preferences. By 2020, the hierarchy of consumer spending positioned trends such as: concern for health, sustainability, technology across the industry and consumer, as well as the role of functional foods as generators of value.

    Therefore, the industry that develops around food made from insects has the advantage of complying with the trends mentioned above such as concern for health and functional foods, since both the mealworm and the cricket have high nutritional value.

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