Edible insects: Marketing the impossible?

A. van Huis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademic

12 Citations (Scopus)


Is it an impossible task to convince consumers to eat insects? This does not only apply to western consumers who are less familiar with this food habit than consumers in tropical countries. In the tropics too, many people do not consume insects, even though they are easier to collect as food than in temperate zones. Until recently in the western world, eating insects was considered a peculiar tropical food habit and the term 'entomophagy' was coined. How to motivate consumers to substitute meat with insects? One strategy is to stress the low environmental impact of insect products compared to meat, in particular beef. Or is this, considering our appetite for meat, an inconvenient truth? Is stressing environmental sustainability enough to raise consumers' interest to consume insects? Probably not, as tastiness is valued high and crucial. However, even a positive sensory experience when consuming insects should be accompanied by external factors such as availability, convenient pricing and a conducive social environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-68
JournalJournal of Insects as Food and Feed
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2017


  • 017-4046


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