Chapul Blog: experiences & writings from around the world

Crickets Return to Shark Tank

 

In March 2014, I had the honor of presenting the concept of insect protein to the Sharks on ABC’s hit show, Shark Tank (Season 5, episode 21.) As many of you know, we received an investment from billionaire Mark Cuban, which launched a period of growth that we are currently still building. When I walked into the tank, I was still hand-making every bar. . .

Crickets at the 23rd International Climber's Festival

Crickets at the 23rd International Climber's Festival

Meet Chapul Brand Ambassador and professional climber Mark Evans at the International Climbers Festival in Lander Wyoming.

The 9th Annual Bug Eating Festival !

The 9th Annual Bug Eating Festival !

We went to the 9th Annual Bug Eating Festival in Austin Texas where we got to sample Chapul bars and share stores about experienced cricket eaters. It was also a chance to connect with local Austin food revolutionaries for Chapul!

Tim "Van Lifer" Kelly - Chapul Ambassador

Tim "Van Lifer" Kelly - Chapul Ambassador

One one of the guiding principles here at Chapul is our desire to work with good people who share our passion of working to make the world a better, more sustainable place. Like Tim Kelly, our newest Brand Ambassador!

 

A Must-Read for Vegetarians. . .

A Must-Read for Vegetarians. . .

Eating for Life: Why the World Needs More Food Innovation

by Dr. Joel Gladd

We live in an era when even the most conscientious consumer has to make difficult decisions about what’s ok for them to eat. With recent advances in the biological sciences, it seems that even the purest vegan might carry some guilt.

Schizo-Tasters: What the Movies Can Teach Us About Branding Insects as Food

Schizo-Tasters: What the Movies Can Teach Us About Branding Insects as Food

Spoiler alert: everyone eats insects. Even in popular movies such as Snowpiercer that in the popular Imagination at least, the epitome of nutritive taste is eating insects, is presented as a form of swarming, repulsive spontaneity.

Controversial new research regarding cricket farming? Not really. . .

Controversial new research regarding cricket farming? Not really. . .

Here at Chapul world headquarters, we’re always on the lookout for innovators and insights to fuel the protein revolution. Two weeks ago, two University of California researchers – Mark Lundy and Michael Parrella – published a study of cricket “ranching” techniques which falls squarely into this category. Learn more by reading our full post

 

Innovation, Creativity, and a Healthy Dose of Fun

Innovation, Creativity, and a Healthy Dose of Fun


In March 2014, we attended Natural Products Expo West where almost 100,000 food industry professionals gather to see the latest and greatest in the natural food world. We were the first introduction of insects into the expo (and as you know, the US market) when we displayed our Chapul Cricket Bars. And most importantly. . . it was fun! 

 

Our Business Cards Are Ugly

30 packs work best for business cards. 24 and 12 packs are fine, sure, but bang for the buck is buying in bulk. Flip that Chapul business card over and you’ll probably find “abst Blue R” or “oors Ligh” on there. Recycling is great but I’ve found that repurposing rules.

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s a good chance I won’t be rushing to make an appointment with a doctor whose info I found stamped onto a surgical mask. I’m also not saying that Chapul’s new message is “Drink beer, conserve water” - although I’ve been arguing that for years - it boils down to if you’ve got it, use it.

The idea of repurposing is easy, the practice of it is a tough sell. Remember Amazon’s “Ugly Box” project from the early 2000s? Neither does anyone else. The program simply reused shipping boxes that came in from vendors to send out new products to customers. These boxes were in fact, ugly - scuffed up with battle scars of peeled off stickers - but who wants their brand new NOMAD Jukebox (come on, it was a different time) to show up in a box looking like it was dragged to the door by wild horses?

These days there is no doubt where the box sitting on the stoop came from. The black tape outlining the smile line that subliminally points from A to Z on the package. That’s branding, baby. Why the resistance to repurposing? Easy. Hurting your brand image? End it. Negative customer feedback? Kill the Ugly Boxes.

I like to think our revolutionaries are different, that they understand a sustainable company is one that practices sustainability in all aspects of its operations. It’s great to be able to donate to charities like 1% For the Planet and harp the environmental benefits of crickets but without responsibility in our daily practices would the other stuff even matter?

By making repurposing part of routine we live our commitment to the larger cause of sustainability. I know it’s just a little, but we find ways to do a little bit more all the time. There are some fun plans in the works and hopefully some amazing ideas we’ve yet to think of.

We’re still using ugly boxes, business cards are being stamped on to anything we can get our hands on and I’ve just finished reusing the stash of kraft paper that my wedding gifts came in. Speaking of, Pat & Dan, any movement of the marriage front? The warehouse is need of more packing paper.

- John                                                   

   

Our two year anniversary and moving forward

Our two year anniversary and moving forward

This month marks the 2-year anniversary of Chapul launching the ‘The Original Cricket Bar’ which is the United States’ first insect-based nutritional product using our signature cricket flour. Looking back, it is almost overwhelming to see how much has changed, and how far the industry has progressed in such a short amount of time.

 

California: Thirsty for Crickets

California: Thirsty for Crickets

Two weeks ago, on the five-hour drive from San Francisco to Ventura, CA, my hometown, we zipped through hills and fields in various shades of brown. That drive, which traces the old Royal Road linking Spain’s mission settlements, paints California’s latest drought in sunburned tones.