Burgers and balls with meal worms as delicious ingredients: These two products developed and manufactured by the start-up company Essento will be available from 21 August at a few selected Coop supermarkets and online at coop@home. Coop will expand the offering in stages to other stores and will include further products by the end of the year.

"We've been working towards this goal for a long time, and now the time has come: as the first retailer in Switzerland, we will start selling insect products from Essento", Silvio Baselgia, Head of Category Management/Purchasing Fresh Produce at Coop, is excited. "Ready to eat and with a balanced flavour, these products are ideal as a way to get to know the culinary diversity that insects offer."

Insect burgers and balls with purely natural ingredients
Essento has developed two food innovations with support from Coop:

  • The Essento Insect Burgers contain meal worms (Tenebrio molitor) plus rice and vegetables such as carrots, celeriac and leeks, as well as herbs like oregano and chilli. They can be purchased ready to eat and are ideal for preparing burgers in rolls with lettuce, sprouts and a tasty sauce.
  • Essento Insect Balls are made of meal worms (Tenebrio molitor) and chickpeas, onions, garlic and herbs such as coriander and parsley. They are particularly tasty with fresh vegetables and a yoghurt sauce in a pita bread.

Insects are healthy, sustainable and tasty
"In terms of food insects are an excellent choice for a number of reasons: they have high culinary potential, their production saves resources, and their nutritional profile is high", says Christian Bärtsch, co-founder of Essento. "Insects are thus the perfect supplement for a contemporary meal plan." The sustainable and culinary potential of insects was key in Coop's decision to support the development of this food innovation by Essento. "Coop and Essento are united by a quest for sustainable solutions", says Baselgia. "We have been working together for three years and will continue to work on establishing insects as a food in Switzerland."

Kick-off in seven stores and at coop@home – more outlets to be added
The insect-based products from Essento will go on sale on 21 August in small quantities at seven Coop Supermarkets in Zurich (Coop Sihlcity), Basel (Coop Südpark), Berne (Coop Megastore in Wankdorf), Winterthur (Coop Stadttor), Lugano (Coop Canobbio Resega), Lausanne (Coop Grancy) and Geneva (Coop Eaux-Vives) and online at coop@home. Sale of the products will be expanded to other stores in Switzerland on an ongoing basis.

About Essento
Essento is a Swiss start-up company that has concentrated on the culinary potential of insects for over three years and is pursuing the goal of bringing insects to Swiss dinner tables. Essento develops, produces and markets specialities made from edible insects for the retail and catering sectors. Essento is also involved in familiarizing people with the topic. In September 2016 Essento published an insect cookbook "Grillen, Heuschrecken & Co." (Grasshoppers, Locusts & Co.), which has won two awards, and will organize regular insect dinners and cooking courses. Whole insects for cooking at home can also be ordered direct in the online shop. Further information: www.essento.ch

Contact

Urs Meier
Head of media relations, Tel. +41 61 336 71 10

Ramón Gander
Media spokesperson, Tel. +41 61 336 71 67

Andrea Bergmann
Media spokesperson, Tel. +41 61 336 67 37