Insects will have ‘significant market share’: PHW Group backs Bugfoundation

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

Bugfoundaition founders Max Krämer and Baris Özel ©JOERG_SARBACH
Bugfoundaition founders Max Krämer and Baris Özel ©JOERG_SARBACH
German poultry giant PHW Group has continued its spending spree in alternative proteins, investing this time in insect burger start-up Bugfoundation.

PHW has become a “strategic investor”​ in Bugfoundation, taking an undisclosed shareholding in the producer of Germany’s “first”​ insect burger.

Bugfoundation was founded by Max Krämer and Baris Özel in 2014. By 2015, the group’s first burger recipe – made from buffalo worms and organic soy – was available in two restaurants in Brussels. In 2018, the company established an assembly line in Germany and secured its first supermarket listing with Rewe. The burger is now stocked by “several hundred”​ Rewe supermarkets and Bugsfoundation claims to see growing interest from the retail sector.

The Bugfoundation burger contains: 45% rehydrated buffaloworm-soyprotein (60% buffalo worms Alphitobius Diaperinus, 40% soy protein concentrate), water, rape oil, onions, egg white (dried), tomato concentrate (tomatoes, salt), soy sauce (water, soybeans, wheat, salt), mustard (water, mustard seeds, vinegar, salt, sugar, spices), potato starch, spices, salt, lemon juice, parsley

Insects will have ‘significant’ market share: PHW

The sustainable protein company has now won the support of PHW, which produces leading German chicken brand Wiesenhof.

“Based on in-depth discussions with the company and its flagship product - the insect burger - convinced us not only with regard to the entrepreneurial spirit, the underlying philosophy and creativity [of Bugfoundation], but also with regard to the type of product development and taste of the insect burger,”​ a spokesperson for PHW told FoodNavigator.

“We are excited about the partnership and look forward to working together with the young entrepreneurs. We are firmly convinced that this type of novel food, which is rich in sustainable, high-quality proteins and unsaturated fatty acids, will have a significant market share in the future.”

Europe has seen burgeoning interest in insects as a protein source because they are viewed as being more sustainable and less resource intensive to produce. Insect protein also benefits from its reputation as a high quality protein that has the essential amino acids while also being low in saturated fats. 

PHW will now work with Bugfoundation to support sales, distribution, production and product development functions.

“As the PHW Group, we now have the opportunity to support Bugfoundation in key areas such as sales, logistics, production and product development,”​ the spokesperson explained.

PHW has invested in a number of early-stage sustainable protein companies, including vegan seafood start-up Good Catch and Israeli cultured meat group Supermeat. The company has also partnered with US meat-free burger maker Beyond Meat to bring the Beyond Burger to the German market.

FoodNavigator will catch up with Bugfoundation next week to learn more about the group's journey and ambitions for the future. Check back for further coverage. 

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