Getting every European to eat at least one meal per week made of insect meat by 2030 – that may sound like a plot of a post-apocalyptic movie, but that’s the goal of Burgs Foods.
This Rotterdam-based startup is a cricket and grasshopper meat producer, and it has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Unknown Group, located in The Hague and Singapore.
What does Burgs Foods produce?
Established under the brand name De Krekerij, Burgs Foods was founded in 2018 by Sander Peltenburg and George Brandenburg. The company manufactures sustainable food products made of insects. In the Dutch market, the company claims to have been pioneering the domain of cricket and grasshopper-made alternative meat products.
With its insect processing technologies, Burgs Foods intends to become the food factory of the future for everything related to processing insects into food. Their products include traditional burgers, meatballs and sausage rolls.
In addition, Burgs Foods have also added new classics on its menu, such as pulled grasshopper, which are characterised by three core features: a unique umami flavour, nutrient-rich in nature, and sustainable, claims the company.
The company believes that, compared to livestock, consuming insects has significantly less environmental impact and provides great resource efficiency.
Burgs Foods co-founder of Burgs Foods, says, “We decided to continue our growth path with Unknown Group because they are real venture builders. Being entrepreneurs themselves with a track record of building great companies, we are confident that Unknown’s experience can slingshot us to more growth.”
How will the funds be utilised?
The raised capital will enable Burgs Foods to strategically and sustainably grow its business by increasing its processing capacity, building partnerships to bring its products to market as well as marketing its products.
Talking about the company’s immediate goals, Peltenburg says, “We want to raise the level of our production facility to the highest possible safety standards – FSSC 22000. When we reach this, we are able to produce our products under white label for the professional food market throughout Europe. This brings our products to shelves and menus around the continent!”
The Foundation Food Safety System Certification 22000 (FSSC 22000) offers a complete certification Scheme for the auditing and certification of Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS). It also offers certification for combined FSMS and Quality Management Systems (FSSC 22000-Quality).
Burgs Foods has previously received philanthropic capital from We Share – the non-profit foundation founded by Unknown Chairman, Edward de Jager – in 2018. Peltenburg says, “We Share was instrumental in helping us improve and increase the overall quality of our product and processing capacity to a level where we were able to prove our solution on a larger scale.”
Preparing for the future
At present, the demand is growing for high-quality and sustainable protein sources that can feed a growing population without burdening the environment. And, according to Burgs Foods, edible insects such as crickets and grasshoppers offer a solution for this. It is because very little water, land, and feed are used in raising these animals, ultimately creating a low impact on the environment. They are also naturally packed with vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium and vitamin B12.
According to the company, “The used animals naturally have a very low impact, but the potential is even greater. We can feed them with residual flows from vegetable production, which is now being destroyed! Take broccoli. We eat the flower, while the plant and the leaf, as a by-product of the cultivation, are now thrown away. This leaf is packed with vitamins and minerals, which we do not eat. Crickets and grasshoppers, on the other hand, like to eat this and enjoy it.”
There are many green residual flows that can make the ecological impact of crickets and grasshoppers even lower – even lower than vegetable meat substitutes.
About Unknown Group
Founded in 2008, Unknown is an early-stage venture capital and business development firm. They believe in unlocking the future business potential by internal and external venturing. The company has developed a global network in innovation and entrepreneurship and has partnered with more than 200 corporate and governmental organisations to scale open innovation and corporate venturing activities, such as DSM, Fujitsu, and NATO.
Unknown is a merger between VenturesOne group and Unknown Group. Unknown’s experience in global startup scouting and corporate venturing, combined with the investment expertise of VenturesOne, strengthens the ambition to increase the success rate of innovations that address pressing local and global challenges.
Unknown Group supports founders and industry leaders and has experience in global startup scouting and corporate venturing, while VenturesOne has investment expertise. With both combined, they aim to increase the success rate of innovations that address pressing local and global challenges.