WE ARE ON AN EDIBLE BUGS JOURNEY!

Edible insects holds great potential to revolutionise the food industry

Invenire has a dream. A dream of a more sustainable future.

We’re striving to revolutionise current food value chains through new, innovative business models.

Our mission is to make Better Business happen.

Edible insects offer a viable protein solution for the future

Edible insects opens a wide range of new opportunities as a nutritious protein source. To realise the vast impact edible insects can have on sustainable food production, they need wider industry penetration – and be used in large volumes.

By taking action and creating different initiatives, we’re aiming to help businesses harness the enormous opportunity edible insects presents. To create social and business value. To cultivate positive transformation in the food industry. And to better meet the long-term needs of People Planet Profit.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY?

We believe the edible insects industry has great potential – and may even revolutionise the food industry, and the way we think about food.

It can be the vanguard of a circular economy.

We want to help change-makers and support their business, so we are –

Initiating new edible insects projects
INITIATING NEW PROJECTS
such as multi-clients projects for ingredient companies considering the opportunity to incorporate insect protein into their product portfolios.
Helping companies define their responsibility strategy
HELPING COMPANIES
start defining their responsibility strategy, building up their responsibility performance and turning it into effective responsibility marketing and communications.
Delivering talks on edible insects
DELIVERING TALKS AND WORKSHOPS
about why edible insects are a business opportunity and why responsibility should be at the core of any food company today.

BUILDING A ROADMAP FOR AN EDIBLE INSECTS ECOSYSTEM

In 2016, Invenire led a project to establish a business ecosystem with edible insects in Finland, funded by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation.

Edible Insects was one of six bioeconomy spearheads identified by Tekes as having great international potential.

The project goal was to establish a roadmap for creating multidisciplinary business ecosystem in Finland with edible insects. Key to developing this roadmap was to identify key business opportunities with insects – and develop effective strategies to harness them!

The first step was to understand the true market landscape for insects – and its barriers.

“MAKING INSECTS DESIRABLE”

When we started this project, we didn’t know where this road would take us. What the journey would be.

Before plotting any course, we needed to deeply understand the true market landscape. There was no existing roadmap for building an industry with edible insects!

So we did our homework. We researched the current market from all angles – from consumer attitudes and archetypes, companies, technology, production & supply, regulation and competitive alternatives. We also explored current consumer trends. Despite most people being disgusted by insects, we needed to answer – was there a good fit for insects to with growing consumer demands? (and we validated the answer is “yes”).

This initial market research resulted in the creation of five in-depth reports on the edible insects market, spanning –

  • Market Forces & Drivers
  • Market Opportunities beyond only protein
  • Key Trends – The Protein Boom + Green & Healthy

So what did this research tell us?

Edible Insects has significant barriers from almost every angle.

Traditional methods and strategies will not work for insects.

Demand is the biggest barrier and requires new ways of thinking, to truly make impact with insects.

We learnt the big opportunity lies in making insects desirable – for both consumers and industry!

BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER ON THE JOURNEY

One of our roles as the project guide was to bring stakeholders from multiple Finnish industries together. To explore the capabilities and expertise they could provide, and what insects opportunities exist within their own businesses.

Our mission was to facilitate multi-industry collaboration to find the right solutions to develop an edible bugs industry – and create positive new ways of doing business for all stakeholders.

We initiated the first stage of such collaboration through the Insects Business Opportunity Event we held in Salo, Finland. The event focused on discussing and exploring multi-industry opportunities for insects – as well as real insects tastings!

INSECTS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY EVENT

Wiurila, Salo – Finland

18th August, 2016

The goal of the event was to bring industry people together, and discuss the potential insects holds.

Participants spanned the food industry, farming, technology companies and research organisations.

The event was a precursor to the “Kick-off Project”, a live working group to be launched in 2017. The goal of this next stage was to collectively develop real projects with edible insects. These projects would lay foundations for development of a real insects ecosystem in Finland.

We found many people share in our vision, with a common desire to realise the positive impact insects can have.

A LOT MORE MUSCLE NEEDED

We finished the ecosystem roadmap project in October 2016. While the research, strategies and ecosystem business model for insects was received as highly viable, Tekes could only chose three spearheads to fund further. Sadly, insects did not make the cut. The gap between today and the opportunity insects holds is challenging.

A lot more muscle is needed yet, to make real impact with insects!

So what did this mean for us?

Not all is lost! In fact, we grew a great deal on this journey. We deepened our understanding of how to commercialise insects. We increased our expertise and knowledge. We developed sound strategies to build real business with insects, that can still be applied.

And ultimately, we strengthened our resolve to help make insects big!

We see insects as a collective mission. We are not the owner of it, nor is any single organisation. For this reason, along the road of this project we created a range of public insight outputs, to help others develop business opportunities with insects.

Our insects journey is far from over! We’ll continue to help companies start making real business with insects.


HOW OUR JOURNEY STARTED

Our journey started in 2014 when we first met Ana Day, founder of 4ENTO.

Ana founded 4Ento in 2013 with the goal or creating an education platform to act as a catalyst for finding global solutions to combat the threatening world nutrition crisis.

In 2014, she introduced the 4Ento Edible Insect Pavilion, a platform for trade shows that showcases up-and-coming startups and ento-partners who are shaping the industry – and the food of the future.

WE DECIDED TO HELP

Our first encounter with Ana Day was also the spark that got us started with edible insects. We wanted to support the 4Ento team in their important educational work to increase awareness of the opportunities edible insects provide. We also realised that in order to make a difference, the edible insects industry needs to reach a much bigger consumer group than today.

We decided to apply our professional strengths, as edible insects fits well with our mission to work with responsibility and sustainability. We produced and published a business opportunity report with the aim to present a clear view of where the edible insects market is at right now – but most importantly, show the roadmap of how it can develop forward into a more mainstream market with greater positive impact.

Since 2014, we’ve been convinced that edible insects holds great potential to revolutionise the nutrition industry!

TESTING, PILOTING AND LEARNING

With no market structure in place for insects, we knew we had to try to bring people together and join the cause. We first tried crowd-funding, to gain support and funding to create the Business Opportunity report. Ultimately, we didn’t reach the funding goal. Yet we learnt a lot about crowd-funding, and getting people to join our cause.

We then initiated a multi-client industry project to explore the true business potential for insects. While many were interested, a lack of real urgency for companies prevented take-off.

Some may see these initiatives as failures. But testing these ideas gave invaluable learnings & insights on the mission. They made us set the bar high. And perform 5 times better than we otherwise would have.

Giving up was not an option. Each test strengthened our resolve and commitment to the journey.

FAILED BUT GREW MUSCLES

So, we failed to succeed with our early initiatives. But once more our making-ideas-happen muscle grew a bit bigger and stronger.

In these projects, we followed a few of our key principles:

Embrace a beginners mind
EMBRACE A BEGINNERS MIND
We knew nothing about edible insects when we started, we went out and explored – and now we know a lot! In fact, we’ve become experts on edible insects.
Expand your comfort zone
EXPAND YOUR COMFORT ZONE
We didn’t know what to expect. As hurdles emerged, we dealt with them one by one and used our creativity to solve all problems. No one panicked.
Learn to fail early, often and cheaply
LEARN TO FAIL
Fear of failure holds people back and prevents them from doing important things. In order to learn fast you have to be comfortable with failure and make sure you fail early, often and cheaply.

A positive mindset is everything – especially when dream is truly important.

WE BECAME EXPERTS

So we started to explore the field further, producing new content and sharing our knowledge around edible insects business opportunities.
We became the experts in the field and part of the edible insects worldwide community.
Expanding our network and communicating with edible insects players that are active in social media. Sharing valuable resources.

Now we’re doing real projects with edible insects.

The future is already here!