Insect protein key to Entoma Petfood’s innovation

As a new company to the pet food industry, Entoma Petfood is using black soldier fly larvae to set itself apart in the world of insects.

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(StockPhotoTrends | BigStock.com)
(StockPhotoTrends | BigStock.com)

Insect protein is a current hot topic in the pet food industry, as companies increasingly look for sustainable, novel ways to provide protein in pet food formulations. France- and Denmark-based Entoma Petfood was determined to be part of this new trend from the start, aiming to revolutionize animal nutrition and create eco-friendly, healthy and tasty food for dogs and cats.

“Entoma Petfood wants to lead this food revolution, both for the benefits it brings to our animals and to the environment,” says Rachelle Cantet, co-founder and chief operating officer for Entoma. “Compared to industrial farming (cattle and poultry), breeding insects emits 100 times less CO2 and 17 times less water than beef farming.”

The company works with black soldier fly larvae (hermetia illucens) as its single source of animal protein and its products are 100% natural, grain free, naturally rich in omegas-3, -6 and -9, and hypoallergenic in addition to being eco-friendly.

“Right now we only have a few competitors, and this allows us to differentiate ourselves,” says Cantet.

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Entoma's all-natural, grain-free products source protein from black soldier fly larvae. | Courtesy Entoma 

The evolution of Entoma Petfood

Entoma is only about two years old, but the company has moved quickly from the start.

“Entoma Petfood’s journey began when our co-founder (Luxidan Nirmalananthan) decided to develop natural and high-quality pet food based on insect protein,” says Cantet. “We went from making prototypes of treats in an industrial kitchen to seeing our recipes being produced on a large scale at a production facility. Today, the Entoma team consists of five determined people who each specialize in various areas with the same vision for our pets and our planet.”

The company developed its first treat recipe in 2017 and expanded to dry food for adult dogs and skin and beauty snacks in 2018. In 2019, the company plans to launch wet food for dogs and both dry and wet cat food products.

“We are only distributed in Europe for the moment, but we wish to work with North American and Asian distributors in 2019," says Cantet. “We are commercialized in Denmark in 70 pet shops and several web shops, and in Sweden with a couple of independent pet shops and web shops as well. In France and Luxembourg, we are distributed on e-commerce websites, pet shops, concept stores, vet clinics and by Animalis (the largest French pet supply retailer). In Germany and Denmark, Fressnapf distributes us.”

Entoma has also been negotiating for the company’s products to be distributed in England, Ireland, Belgium, Italy and Spain.

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Entoma is looking to expand its pet food line from Europe into the North American and Asian Markets. | Courtesy Entoma 

Challenges and opportunities in insect protein

As insect protein becomes a more significant part of the pet food formulation conversation, Cantet says there are definite challenges — and opportunities — in their segment of the market.

“We think the most difficult thing is to change people's mindset about insects as food,” she says. “It is a real challenge for us, but with the arrival of new consumption habits we are very confident that our products will succeed in finding a place among the segments that currently exist. In addition to the fact that our product is a bit atypical, another difficulty is to find a place among the wide range of products that exist. We must succeed in convincing customers of the benefits of our products so that they can change their dogs' diets.”

Pet owners wanting to change what their pets are eating is one of the market’s biggest opportunities, says Cantet.

“We see a lot of opportunities working with insect protein and innovative ingredients in general,” she says. “We believe there is wide range of possibilities to create new and balanced recipes that are in line with our DNA. There are various types of insects that have a different composition and benefits, which gives us even more options to create the right products for pets. There are also many ingredients that could be a potential lifesaver for many pets around the world. Research and sharing of information is the key to developing innovative products for the health of our pets.”

Predictions for Entoma’s future in the pet food market

According to Cantet, mentalities are slowly changing when it comes to insect protein in pet food, and more people are seeing the appeal of both the nutrition benefits and sustainability angle of insects.

“We will see a huge change in pet food products and upcoming brands on the shelves all around the world,” says Cantet. “The demand for more natural and high-quality premium pet food will rise together with the expectation of transparency on ingredients. In Europe, the industry will probably move towards more environmentally friendly pet food and supplies. As the latest climate reports have shown, feed and food for animals and humans is one of the major culprits regarding global warming issues, and we think more companies will and should be focused on finding their way to becoming more sustainable without compromising on the quality of their products.”

And while there is still work to be done, Entoma is optimistic about its place in this expanding market category.

“There are a lot of unused possibilities that need to be considered in food or feed that could benefit our pets and our environment,” says Cantet. “With Entoma Petfood, we have proven it is possible to offer a nutritious and balanced premium pet food, with innovative ingredients that are sustainably sourced, without compromising on quality or pet health and without leaving a huge environmental footprint.”

 

Fast Facts

entoma-logo

Headquarters: Paris, France

Officers: Luxidan Nirmalananthan, co-founder; Rachelle Cantet, co-founder and operations director; Bruno Ousta, finance director; Thomas Sella, logistical and sales director; Maud Brisset, marketing and business development manager

Brands: Entoma

Website/Social Media: www.entomapetfood.com; @entomapetfood on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Notable: Entoma is taking a modern approach to its product expansion: As of May 2019, the company is running an Indiegogo campaign to launch its new sustainable cat food products. (https://bit.ly/2HeJkBW)

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