Micarna presented their Pop-Bugs for the first time at the Anuga food fair. The original insect product was also honored with the innovation prize as part of the “Taste 17” exhibition as well as with the “Show Star” award by the food magazine “Lebensmittelpraxis”.

What will the world of tomorrow taste like? How can we surprise our consumers in the coming year? And how should a growing global population be fed in the coming decades? Anuga, the leading fair for the food industry, dealed with exactly these questions. More than 200,000 visitors and a good 7,000 exhibitors from 100 countries presented the latest trends and products in Cologne. In addition to this, the most innovative creations were awarded at the special exhibition “Taste 17”. Micarna was honored for its Pop-Bugs, the first cricket flour product. After the innovation prize for the “Paprika Wave Chips” (2013) and the “Chicken Gelati” (2015), this year’s award was the third innovation prize in the series at the renowned food fair. In addition to the innovation award at the fair itself, Micarna was also awarded the “ShowStar” by the food magazine “Lebensmittelpraxis” in the category of originality.

Crickets innovatively presented as food
The pop bugs are small balls, which are made from cricket flour as a protein source. They are similar to breaded meatballs, except in Pop-Bugs cricket flour is used instead of meat. “The Pop-Bugs are our first snack with insect protein,” says company director Albert Baumann. “On the one hand, because using insects as a complement to our diet is an important and contemporary issue. On the other hand, because our Pop-Bugs are visually convincing. Packed in an innovative carton tray which also has a serving function, the Pop-Bugs can be eaten right out of their fine packaging along with the dips which are included. “They will both delicious and a perfect topic for conversation, guaranteed.”

Insects are more than just a product idea
For Micarna, insects are more than just a product innovation. “We are convinced that the market can offer the potential for insects to be possible sources of protein. However, it is not just about consuming whole insects, but rather using them as interesting sources of protein for other products.” To carry out this foundational research, in April, Micarna set up a product manager for insects. “His main task is to develop a basic knowledge in this area and, for example, to find out what the legal possibilities are or what animal welfare means in the field of insects.” Micarna expects this foundational work to take around two years. The first innovative products however are being presented with the Pop-Bugs this autumn.

Profile of the Micarna Group
The companies of the Micarna Group, which are part of M-Industry, produce high-quality meat, poultry, fish and egg products. Founded as a Migros meat processing company by Gottlieb Duttweiler in Courtepin in the canton of Fribourg in 1958, the Micarna Group currently comprises the Swiss-based companies Favorit Geflügel, Gabriel Fleury, Lüchinger + Schmid, Maurer Spezialitäten, Mérat & Cie., Micarna, Natura Bündner Fleischtrocknerei, Optisol, Rudolf Schär and Tipesca. In addition, Stauss Geflügel and KM Seafood, both of which are based in Germany, are also part of the group. Micarna Group companies deliver the very best quality thanks to state-of-the-art production plants and the highest standards in hygiene, product safety and occupational health and safety. The companies are committed to animal welfare and reducing the animals’ stress during transport. They ensure that the origin of every single product is completely traceable. M-Industry’s meat, poultry, fish and egg segment includes over 3000 employees and generated a turnover of CHF 1.5 billion in 2016.

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Micarna cricket balls win innovation prize