Swiss supermarket to start selling bug burgers

Swiss supermarket giant Coop will sell products containing insects, such as burgers and meatballs, from next spring, it has confirmed.

Swiss supermarket to start selling bug burgers
Cricket burger anyone? Photo: Coop

Up until now Swiss law specified that unusual foodstuffs such as insect-based products could not be sold without special authorization, but on Friday the federal food safety office (BLV) said it was simplifying the system. From May 1st 2017 any food product can be sold commercially as long as it respects food safety regulations.

Coop was quick to respond, saying it would be putting insect-based products on its shelves from next spring.

In a statement, the supermarket behemoth said it was working with Swiss startup Essento, which specializes in developing insect-based dishes, to create a range of “surprising” products containing insect proteins, including meatballs and burgers.

“The secret of our success  is due to our capacity to identify trends and innovate,” said Coop spokesman Roland Frefel.

Adding certain varieties of insects to processed products would allow customers to “discover a new world of flavours,” he added.

Insects are as rich in protein as meat and fish and contain essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids, however they remain an uncommon foodstuff in the Western world.

But that is changing as the world considers new ways to feed a population estimated to grow to nine billion by 2050. According to Fortune magazine, more than 25 startups offering bug products have launched in the US and Canada in the past few years.

A sustainable and ecological food source, insects emit less greenhouse gas and ammonia than conventional livestock, according to the Food and Agriculture Office of the United Nations.

They are also delicious, said Coop, pointing out that crickets taste a bit like chicken and weevils have a nutty flavour.

It remains to be seen if Swiss consumers will agree…

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Major Swedish supermarket chain hit by cyberattack

One of Sweden's biggest supermarket chains said Saturday it had to temporarily close around 800 stores nationwide after a cyberattack blocked access to its checkouts.

Major Swedish supermarket chain hit by cyberattack
A Coop store in Stockholm. credit: Ali Lorestani/TT

“One of our subcontractors was hit by a digital attack, and that’s why our checkouts aren’t working any more,” Coop Sweden, which accounts for around 20 percent of the sector, said in a statement.

“We regret the situation and will do all we can to reopen swiftly,” the cooperative added.

Coop Sweden did not name the subcontractor or reveal the hacking method used against it beginning on Friday evening.

But the Swedish subsidiary of the Visma software group said the problem was linked to a mayor cyber attack on US IT company Kaseya on Friday.

Kaseya has urged customers to shut down servers running its VSA platform after dozens were hit with ransomware attacks.

A wave of ransomware attacks has struck worldwide recently, especially in the United States.

Ransomware attacks typically involve locking away data in systems using encryption, making companies pay to regain access.

Last year, hackers extorted at least $18 billion using such software, according to security firm Emsisoft.

In recent weeks, such attacks have hit oil pipelines, health services and major firms, and made it onto the agenda of US President Joe Biden’s June meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.