If Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi is to be believed, the spiders that crawl into your mouth as you sleep will soon be a delicacy. As reported by CNBC, Nooyi spoke on edible bugs and evolving trends in snack foods at the Net/Net event at the New York Stock Exchange. “Bug-related stuff is big,” she said.
Icky as it may sound, Nooyi is a voice to trust. A decade ago, she (correctly) predicted that healthy snacks would one day begin eating up the market once dominated by junk food. As such, Pepsi finds itself prepared for this shift. The shift towards bugs, she says, will satisfy a customer’s desire for cheap sources of protein and, presumably, the need to know what antennae taste like.
“[Experts] said the hottest thing is eating crickets,” she says. “I am not talking about the game crickets, I am talking about crickets! In chips… But they said if you want a high protein source, there is a series of products being launched with crickets.”
Eating crickets and other bugs is nothing new, of course. In Southeast Asia, snackers have long munched on silkworms and scorpions, but new European Union legislation, passed yesterday, may bring the trend overseas. Bugs can now be exported from Thailand to Europe as a food source, and countries like Belgium, Holland, and Denmark are already tucking in their bibs, with each having independently approved the sale of the edible critters.
Still, Nooyi acknowledges the trend likely isn’t “going to be mainstream for a while,” surely triggering sighs of disappointment from existing purveyors of cricket snacks. It may arrive sooner than you’d think, however. Adventurous gourmands hosted a wine and bug pairing in LA just a few days ago.