Could the right branding have us all eating bugs?

The foods of the future are better for our planet and our conscience, but not necessarily our appetite. As insect-based products and unfamiliar alternatives to meat and dairy spring up, we explore whether design can help us overcome our aversion

Right now you could be tucking into a mealworm stir fry, baking bread using cricket flour, and even raising those insects in your own kitchen. The question is, do you really want to? While most of the world embraces insect-eating enthusiastically – it’s practiced in over 100 countries – westerners remain squeamish. Insect farms might be snapping up investment and expanding production plants, but consumers are, on the whole, slow to incorporate entomophagy into their everyday diet. And it’s not just the insects that people are unsure about. Foodstuffs such as algae, cultured meat, and milk that’s been manufactured in the lab are being touted as morally and environmentally acceptable ingredients of the future, but are still regarded with suspicion by

For food brands that specialise in the unusual, combating this hesitation remains a huge stumbling block. Often this sends them down one of two creative paths – either focusing heavily on the novelty factor of their products, or pretending that they’re just like everything else on the supermarket shelves.