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Sainsbury's are selling barbecue crunchy roasted crickets - for £1.50 a packet

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 18/11/2018 Paul Britton
a close up of food on a grill: Roasted crickets being sold at Sainsbury's © Sainsbury's Roasted crickets being sold at Sainsbury's

A taste of I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here is coming to the supermarket shelves.

Sainsbury's has announced 250 of its stores will start selling edible insects in a move said to be a first for a UK supermarket chain.

The barbecue crunchy roasted crickets, from specialist food firm Eat Grub, are said to have a rich, smoky flavour.

A list of stores hasn't been revealed, but bosses have confirmed the snacks will be on sale at the Cross Street Sainsbury's Local store in Manchester city centre.

a hand holding up a sign © Credits: Sainsbury's

Sainsbury's

The chain said research found 40 per cent of people surveyed for a study said they would be open to eating insects and grubs.

Bugs already form a significant part of diets around the world and the global edible insect market is set to exceed £400 million by 2023, according to a report. Their sale so far however has been limited to quirky pop-up restaurants

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Sainsbury's said the roasted crickets could be eaten alone as a snack or used to garnish dishes like tacos, noodles or salads.

Insects are said to offer strong nutritional benefits.

Gram for gram, said Sainsbury's, dried crickets contain more protein than beef, chicken and pork.

a close up of an animal © Credits: Sainsbury's

Sainsbury's

Bugs also emit considerably lower levels of greenhouse gases than most livestock and are much more efficient in terms of the resources needed to farm them - with crickets needing 12 times less feed than cattle, the chain said.

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Rachel Eyre, head of future brands at Sainsbury’s, said: "Insect snacks should no longer be seen as a gimmick or something for a dare, and it’s clear that consumers are increasingly keen to explore this new sustainable protein source.

"We’re always looking to provide our customers with new and exciting products, and with the growing interest in edible insects we’re excited to be the first UK supermarket to make these products easily accessible for shoppers across the country."

© Credits: Sainsbury's

Sainsbury's

Duncan Williamson, a global food system expert and food policy manager at WWF UK, added: "As the population increases, we urgently need to look at alternative protein sources to make the most of land available for food production. Insects are incredibly sustainable and can help to reduce our carbon footprint."

Eat Grub was launched in 2014 by co-founders Shami Radia and Neil Whippey with the aim to revolutionise Western food culture by introducing insects as staple ingrediants.

"Currently Insects are eaten and enjoyed by two billion people worldwide," said Shami Radia.

Launched in stores on Sunday, the snacks cost £1.50 a packet.

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