TSTE, Thai Ento Food to promote Thailand as global production hub of cricket protein powder
Thai Sugar Terminal Pcl (TSTE) has invested in food-tech start-up Thai Ento Food Co Ltd, a pioneer and top local producer of cricket protein powder under “Sixtein” brand in a joint production venture aimed at serving markets worldwide.
The investment was made in light of sustained strong market outlooks of alternative food products for the future. The companies have ambitiously set their sight on elevating Thailand to be a global production hub of cricket powder with projected sales figures exceeding one billion Baht by the end of the next three years.
Elaborating on the venture with TSTE, Thai Ento Food managing director, Mr Teeranut Rungsuwan said this business expansion policy has strengthened the potential of the company, which is the country’s first large scale industrial producer of cricket powder. “It will go a long way to solidify our position as the leader in cricket power production in Thailand, which is vital to achieving a goal of transforming Thailand into a global production hub of cricket powder, therefore helping to generate income that will benefit communities in upcountry, the farming sector, society and the country,” he added.
TSTE and Thai Ento Food set the sales target in 2023 at 250 million baht, and in 2025 at one billion Baht, 70 per cent of which coming from international markets and the rest 30 per cent are from domestic markets.
“We appreciate consistent supports and promotion activities from the public sector as it is clear that overseas consumption of cricket powder has increased markedly, which boosts the growth and the market size significantly, particularly in the functional food and novel food segments in the US, China, Europe and Latin Americas,” he added.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, the insect protein market worldwide is currently worth over US$400 million and is estimated to reach US$2.06 billion or more than 70 billion Baht in 2027. This estimation is consistent with a projection by the National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards which puts the growth of the edible insect market during 2018-2023 at 23.8 per cent worldwide and will be worth 37.9 billion Baht in 2023. So far, Thailand has managed to secure a modest share in the export markets as the country’s industrial production of the insect food products is still in an early stage.
Mr Chanachai Chutimaworaphan, Chief Executive Officer of TSTE, revealed that Thai Ento Food is an attractive rising star start-up and has outstanding innovative processing technology thanks to its collaborative R&Ds with a leading local university, thus enabling production of high-quality protein powders which are main ingredients to increase protein in processed foods in the food manufacturing industry.
He said the company decided to invest in this food-tech start-up and serves as its strategic partner because it realizes the potential of insect protein powders as novel protein of the future and they can ideally open doors to new businessopportunities relative to our current business lines. He said another objective is to try to capture additional markets by taking advantage of TSTE’s B2B customer base which will allow Thai Ento Food to grow further to become the leading producer of a complete line of cricket protein powders.
The TSTE’s investment will see a cricket power facility commercially operational in Q4 of 2022 with maximum production capacity of 1,200 tons a year or a daily production of 4 tons, potentially rising 10-fold within a year, making Thai Ento Food the country’s first industrial producer of cricket protein powder. To achieve such an ambitious objective, there has to be a close collaboration between the company, cricket farmers, protein-rich food and beverage producers, trade partners, the public sector as well as foreign trading partners.
Thai EntoFood is the first to use a bespoken Isec Technology at its industrial cricket powder processing and production facility. It is a continuous and zero-waste process to maximise the use of all body parts of an insect with high precision to produce light colour and odorless powder. The facility has also received the highest international food safety standard certificates, namely FSSC 22000 (Food Safety), ISO 22000, HACCP and GHPs.