December 15, 2019

Anyone for crickets? Roberts bakes special edition bloomers made from insects

Like something straight out of the Bushtucker Trial on last night’s I’m A Celebrity, Roberts is the first major bakery brand in the UK to launch insect bread.

The batch of limited-edition Crunchy Cricket Loaves has been whipped up in The Exploratory – Roberts’ concept kitchen and home of innovation – to celebrate the show being back on our screens for its 19th season. 

The bread is made using cricket flour, which is supplied by Eat Grub – the UK’s leading insect food brand – and sourced from the world’s only farm with Grade A BRC food safety certification. Each loaf contains around 336 crickets, which are dried, ground, mixed with wheat flour and grains and then baked to become a tremendously tasty loaf with a crunchy finish. 

Roberts’ Crunchy Cricket Loaf contains more protein than standard bread and is also a much more environmentally-friendly and sustainable source of it.

Food experts claim insects can also actually blitz body fat due to being packed with good fatty acids, calcium, iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin C. In fact, a recent study shows that crickets have antioxidant power five times higher than fresh orange juice. And they’re also low in fat.

They are also said to be good for the gut, to the high levels of chitinous fibre found in their exoskeleton. This helps to increase levels of a metabolic enzyme associated with gut health.

“As well as having very strong sustainability and environmental credentials, insects are also seriously tasty and shouldn’t be overlooked as a great recipe ingredient,” said Alison Ordonez, Head of Innovation at the bakery firm. “Our Cricket Loaf provides consumers with a good source of protein and an easy way to familiarise themselves with insect-based food.

“As the UK’s next generation bakery we work tirelessly to stay at the forefront of food revolution. We’re also passionate about boosting growth in the bread category with relevant, sustainable and interesting bakes. The first-in-the-UK Roberts Cricket Loaf is yet another example of this.” 

Neil Whippey, Co-Founder at Eat Grub, said: “We’ve been importing and selling insects as a food source since 2013, and we’re always excited to work with likeminded manufacturers who are keen to realise their insect-innovations. It’s been great to support Roberts in what appears to a UK bakery brand first. What a great way to introduce the joys and benefits of eating insects.”

Insect eating, or entomophagy, is common in much of the world. The UN estimated last year that at least 2bn people eat insects – with many having eaten them traditionally for generations – and more than 1,900 species are used for food.

For many, they’re a delicacy and insect harvest season is much anticipated. They’re also a popular choice amongst those who want to protect the environment because farming insects uses less land, water and feed than conventional livestock farming.

Roberts’ loaves are stocked in Asda and Morrisons stores nationally. They’re also listed in all major multiple grocers across the UK and online at Ocado, as well Londis and Budgens convenience stores.

Roberts’ first batch of Crunchy Cricket Loaf is limited to 100 loaves. Ten of these are up for grabs for lucky competition winners. To be in with a chance of getting your hands on one, visit @RobertsBakeryUK on Facebook from 28th November to noon on Thursday 5th December. The 10 lucky winners will be announced later that day. Good luck!