(Twitter last week)
“well, @georgiacraib is a nutty sausage”
I think I would like to explain myself…
I went to talk on the future of foods, I didn’t just pick said bug off the street and start munching away at its squirming legs. I’m not that nutty.
The reason I actually ate the bug (other than to freak out Zoe) was because of a concept brand called Ento. Ento is a project created by four students at the RCA who have one audacious goal- to get our squeamish western culture finding bugs not only palatable but also appealing.
People buying grasshoppers in Tescos by 2020!
In ‘Eating the Big Fish’ Adam mentions ‘aiming two feet below the brick’- The general idea being (sorry to paraphrase you Adam) if you want to put your hand through a brick, you cannot succeed by aiming at the surface of the brick… you have to aim two foot the other side of it.
Ento has their vision firmly two feet ahead. They have a huge impossible ambition; bugs are not something that any of us would ever consider eating (for any other reason than dramatic effect anyway). And they have overcommitted to the plan to get there.
Why? Is a very good question, I suggest if you are interested, have a little watch of the video at the bottom of the post.
But what I though was great was the- how?
They identified their Everest-public perception.
‘There are lots of people looking at the production side of eating insects. But we thought the best route was to first challenge acceptance’.
They realised, that if you go after ‘grasshoppers in Tescos’- you will scare people… and the project will fail or would become a gimmicky fad.
So they developed a simple visual roadmap in which to navigate everything else by. With degrees of abstraction of the…err contents, built into their development timeline, leading to the ultimate goal.
2012- Innocuous little snack
2014- Sushi style abstract evening meal pieces (Maybe a little talking point starter at a dinner party)
2015- A bento style lunchbox- for more everyday consumption (no prep required)
2017- In supermarkets- but with the bugs themselves still abstracted. (Minced crickets…)
2020– Crickets in Tesco!
This sadly is the point, at the moment, where the story ends. Because the students are finishing their masters, and beginning to look for investment. But I just really loved the yellow brick road to bug eating that they have created. And I am very much hoping to be able to try a tasty little less bug like bug snack very soon.