London’s Aspire Food Group, high-tech producers of crickets, have signed an MOU with South Korean confectionary company Lotte, marking one of Aspire’s first major deals to supply crickets destined for human consumption. Senior executives from Lotte were on hand at Aspire this week to tour the food-grade protein production facility (the world’s largest cricket farm), where a signing ceremony was held to mark the ongoing partnership. “A growing population and increasing demand for food and materials requires sustainable, scalable solutions,” said Mohammed Ashour, CEO, Aspire. “We are honored that Lotte sees the value in accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable ingredients and materials through insect technology and bringing our innovative products to markets eager to embrace the future of food.”
Lotte is one of South Korea’s largest companies, and they are keen on international expansion ― so cooperation could be huge for Aspire. One key component is likely the underlying production tech being used there. In announcing the cooperation, both companies agreed to “identify potential opportunities for the establishment of a large-scale commercial facility” in South Korea ― which, although no firm details were included, suggests that exporting the production methods (as opposed to simply opening new facilities) could be an important source of growth for Aspire.