From now on, customers can purchase noodles and soon also salad croutons based on insect proteins in the NX-FOOD Start-up Shelf at "Emmas Enkel" in Düsseldorf for a period of three months. In the Start-up Shelf, which was launched as a pilot at the Real hypermarket in Berlin Lichtenberg in April 2017 and is now being rolled out to further stores, new and innovative food products are marketed in a three-month trial. In February, the NX-FOOD Start-up Shelf was also deployed to the grocery store Emmas Enkel in Düsseldorf. This is where foods produced in Germany containing insect proteins are sold for the first time. The wholesale and food specialist METRO has been cooperating with the start-up Plumento Foods in the development of foods with insect proteins since October 2017. Plumento Foods now collects first commercial experiences via the Start-up Shelf. Offering insects as food in Germany has been possible since 1 January 2018 when the new EU Regulation No. 2015/2283 on Novel Foods came into force. It regulates the handling of novel foods and novel food ingredients.
"As a food specialist, we are the first in German retail and wholesale to offer everyday foods containing insect proteins that are also produced in Germany. This makes us a pioneer as we consider insects to be a nutritious protein alternative. As a wholesale and food specialist, we have the possibility to pave the way to the market for pioneering products via the Start-up Shelf", says Fabio Ziemßen, Director Food Innovation at NX-FOOD. This METRO hub is responsible for the business development of new food solutions and concepts in the wholesale, retail and hospitality sectors.
"The new legislation effective since January this year which allows marketing insects as food opens up a whole range of new possibilities for the food system", continues Ziemßen. The products were developed by Plumento Foods, an innovative food tech start-up that specialises in the development of foods from alternative protein sources and in particular from insect proteins. The Pforzheim-based start-up around its founders Dr. Daniel Mohr, Dr. Reinhard Käppel and Nicolas Stöckert consists of an eight-member team of agricultural engineers, nutritional scientists, protein and marketing specialists.
Mohr developed the idea of using insect proteins as an alternative to animal-derived proteins from traditional meat production in Shanghai where he lived for 14 years. In his home town Pforzheim, he founded the food tech start-up together with two experienced food industry specialists. This start-up is now one of the pioneers for insect-based food in Europe. "Insects offer a wealth of advantages: they need much less feed and land to provide the same amount of proteins as for example pigs or cows. At the same time, they produce only a fraction of greenhouse gas. Add to this the fact that insects are a source of high-quality proteins. With the everyday products offered, like for example noodles produced with insect proteins, we give consumers a good opportunity to get acquainted with this important and new trend", says Mohr. Within a period of one and a half years, Plumento Foods developed a sustainable and naturally efficient alternative to proteins from animal husbandry.
The products are now available in the NX-FOOD Start-up Shelf at Emmas Enkel in Düsseldorf. "We are very pleased to debut with the innovative products in Düsseldorf. Many people associate food tech and food innovation with unreal, futuristic topics. Now we have the opportunity to give them a hands-on experience of sustainable and real insect-based foods at our home base", says Ziemßen.
METRO is a leading international specialist in wholesale and food retail. The company operates in 35 countries and employs more than 150,000 people worldwide. In financial year 2016/17, METRO generated sales of around €37 billion. The company provides custom solutions to meet the regional and international needs of its wholesale and retail customers. With its sales brands METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry and Real as well as delivery services and digitalisation initiatives METRO sets the standards for tomorrow: for customer focus, digital solutions and sustainable business models.
NX-FOOD stands for Next Generation Food and is a hub of METRO for new food solutions to address customer demands, future trends and a better food system. The range of NX-FOOD covers topics such as food waste and its reduction, vertical farming as well as sustainable new food concepts and innovative products for hospitality and end consumers that are made accessible by way of initiatives such as the Start-up Shelf. More information about NX-FOOD at nx-food.com