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, blazing a new trail in the food world.
With the concept in its infancy still, we were unsure what reception would be like. The result? Overwhelmingly positive. It was clear that the food industry is ready for change, and our message of a more sustainable future resonated well...so well, in fact, that we ended up winning the prestigious 2014 NEXTY Award as “the most innovative food product leading the industry towards health and sustainability.” We could not have been more honored to be recognized by the food industry, and the individuals who are intimately aware of the dire need for a changes in our food and agriculture systems.
So this year, we of course entered the show on a different level, having a more validated product, and concept of insect protein in general. In fact, there were even two other insect food companies who joined us at the show this year. We decided to up our game and show the world that not only do we craft innovative food products, but we are using creativity and innovation to push sustainability at all levels of Chapul. So this year, in an effort to reduce waste produced by the expo, we built our entire booth from cardboard that was being discarded on set-up day. CHECK IT!
A fundamental principal at Chapul is that in order for mainstream adoption of sustainability, it also needs to incorporate elements of art, creativity, optimism, and most importantly. . .fun! We think we succeeded, at least in part, by having a great time sharing our passion with the thousands of people who came by our booth and shared with us laughter, enthusiasm, and of course, some delicious, gourmet cricket bars!