Selfridges is now stocking innovative food from Wales made with insects, it has been announced by St Davids-based Bug Farm Foods.
The Pembrokeshire company, founded in 2017 by husband and wife team chef Andy Holcroft and entomologist (insect scientist) Dr Sarah Beynon have launched a range of their products through Selfridges’ online Food Hall, and includes ‘Mocha Chilli Crunch Cricket Cookies’ and ‘Spiced Orange and Laverbread Buffalo Biscuits’. Their Cricket Cookies and Buffalo Biscuits are also available in the five-star Celtic Manor Resort at the gateway to Wales.
Holcroft said: “These products are an easy way in to trying this new food of the future. The biscuits are made with insect powder so you don’t see any whole insects in them.” But the new food certainly packs a punch – each Cricket Cookie contains about 20 crickets, while there are a staggering 180 buffalo insects (also known as lesser mealworms) in each Buffalo Biscuit.
The story of the couple’s now famous Cricket Cookies was covered in a 2017 BBC1 documentary ‘The Bug Grub Couple’. The programme ended with the Celtic Manor Resort’s CEO Ian Edwards agreeing to stock these innovative, foodie gifts from Wales. The Celtic Manor Resort also partnered with Bug Farm Foods to open a pop-up Grub Kitchen restaurant, featuring a menu of edible insects, at its Newbridge-on- Usk restaurant last summer.
Made in St Davids, the Bug Farm Foods cookies and biscuits sold by Selfridges are bundled-up with insect powders and whole insects to encourage customers to try cooking with insects at home. Shoppers can experiment with numerous recipes on www.bugfarmfoods.com. Those wanting to try a selection of whole insects will also be able to purchase a bundle that includes whole crickets, whole locusts and whole buffaloes.
Holcroft and Beynon are passionate about local, sustainable food. Andy is the founder of Grub Kitchen – the UK’s first full-time edible insect café which he opened in 2015, while Sarah is the founder of Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm visitor attraction, research centre and farm – a centre that links invertebrates, food production and wildlife conservation.
Beynon said: “Including food made from insects in your diet is one way to make a sustainable, ecologically sound food choice. Insects are extremely efficient at converting their feed into protein for us and they are also full of other important nutrients. For example, our insect powders are up to 70% protein, contain all nine essential amino acids and are high in many important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12.
“We have great people around us from Welsh Government who get what we’re trying to do and encourage us to develop these innovative products. We’re delivering something brand new to the UK and have received grants and access to support services, which have strengthened our supply chains from field to fork. It’s terrific that this pioneering, sustainable, globally significant work is being supported in Wales, and we hope we’re playing our part in helping Government here promote Wales globally as a food nation.”