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Thai food processors eye growing cricket market

Aug 10. 2020
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By The Nation

The Thai Food Processors Association (TFPA) is aiming to invest in cricket products, as the demand from international consumers is increasing, TFPA chairman Wisit Lamlumcha said.

Even though the target groups are limited, cricket is believed to be a refreshing new menu and is high in nutrients while consumers are still selective due to its production, he said.

The growing markets are located in the United States, China, Europe and South America where healthy food is a trend. Crickets are high in protein and they are an alternative for consumers who do not eat meat.

Cricket exports have made Bt9 million a year and Thailand's northeastern region is trying to increase the quantity as the current production capacity is 7,000 tonnes a year, Wisit said.

The National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards and the Department of Livestock Development are encouraging cricket farmers in 10 provinces with a total 848.5 rai (136 hectares) of cricket farms.

Wisit said that the price in the US, EU, Japan and China was Bt100-Bt200 a kilogram but the value of cricket pellets jumped to Bt1,000-Bt1,800 per kg.

Napadol Thongmee, the director of the Thai Trade Centre in New York, said that cricket products tended to expand in the US due to the size of the market, allowing niche markets to be established.

The target groups are shops in museums and zoos, Hispanic people who normally consume insects, and people who are running a movement to enhance insect consumption.

“If Thai entrepreneurs receive USFDA to guarantee the products’ standards, the market will be bigger,” Napadol said.

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