Chirps have created a versatile flavoured protein powder with a peculiar key ingredient: cricket powder. This sustainable alternative is packed with vitamin B12, iron and prebiotics to fuel active bodies.

Following in the footsteps of their first product –  insect chips – the entrepreneurs at Chirps have found a further use for crickets: protein powder. It is a protein blend containing cricket powder – which is essentially dried and ground crickets – as well as vegan proteins such as pea and brown rice protein.  

A single 35g serving of Chirps protein powder contains 21g of protein. But a key factor that makes cricket protein stand out its numerous nutritional benefits. Foremost, contains all nine essential amino acids, and more than half the recommended daily intake of vitamin B12, which are two nutritional challenges sometimes faced by people not eating meat or fish. In addition, cricket powder has been found to improve gut health due to their naturally occurring prebiotics, and can also reduce inflammation.

In addition to nutritional benefits, choosing cricket protein over whey (made from dairy) or soy protein, has a major impact on the environment. Chirps estimates that per kilogram of protein produced, crickets emit 3,000 times less greenhouse gas emissions than beef. One kilogram of crickets requires just 1.7 kg of feed, compared to 10 kg for beef.  What’s more, to produce one kilogram of crickets consumes just eight litres of water, versus over 1,600L for soy and 15,000L for beef.

Why you should care

According to the FAO, one quarter of arable land is used for livestock grazing, and one third more is used to grow feed for livestock. Meanwhile, crickets require barely any land or water to produce high volumes of nutritious protein.

Although people are increasingly aware of the environmental and ethical benefits of reducing their intake of vertebrate products, availability of substitutes does impact consumer decision making, particularly for people concerned about getting enough protein and iron. Chirps is helping consumers to integrate more sustainable alternatives into their diets – hence why they like to refer to crickets as a ‘gateway bug’.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Climate action

Chirps estimates that producing one kilogram of insect-derived protein generates 3000 times less greenhouse gas emissions than beef protein.

Life on land

Insect farming requires significantly less arable land than livestock animals because they can grow in high density settings and consume little feed.