Edible insects remain a bit of a niche product in the Western world. Typically you’ll only find them online, frying on a street cart or at the occasional boundary-pushing restaurant. But for the first time you’ll be able to walk into a grocery store and buy them. The Jumbo supermarket chain in the Netherlands announced that they will regularly carry burgers made from meal worms and crackers made from moth larvae to, in the company’s words, provide a “healthy and sustainable alternative to eating fish or meat.”
Jumbo is not the biggest chain of supermarkets in the Netherlands but they still have a sizable footprint—in terms of market share they’re about half the size of Safeway here in the U.S. Regardless of size though, it’s still noteworthy that a chain has chosen to put bug burgers front and center.
As with anything new, shoppers will pay for the privilege of being early adopters. Bug burgers in the store will cost a little more than $7.50, which, according to recent surveys is just a bit more expensive than fresh fish over there.
No American chain has stepped up yet to say they’ll do the same thing, but if there’s not a Fearless Flyer with Trader Mantis’ Bug Brittle in your mailbox sometime in the next year we’d be shocked. Until then you’ll just have to keep get your insects ground, canned or on the next flight.