Understanding Exo’s cricket cookies

Can snack bars introduce insect protein to the masses? A local company is on the case.

This may sound a little bit off our beat but we’re lumping Exo Protein into our tech coverage because, well, they are definitely hackers. They are hacking food. By taking the familiar snack bar and making it out of crickets, it’s hard to argue they aren’t taking an innovative approach.

Here’s Brooklyn’s newest protein bar on ABC’s The Chew:

We asked cofounder Gabi Lewis whether the business was snack bars or whether it was really, more broadly, the idea of using insect protein as a base of a variety of foods. “It’s certainly true that we view these bars as a kind of introductory vehicle for insect protein,” Lewis says. “We want to develop a range of delicious and healthy food products, with insect protein as the theme that ties them together.”

The project really kicked off a little over a year ago, when the team more than doubled its Kickstarter campaign goal of $20,000, bringing in $55,000 from people that just couldn’t wait to eat bugs laced with coconut.

We recently reported that Exo had gone much further than that, raising $1.7 million in equity funding. That round was led by The Collaborative Fund, which looks for socially-positive investments. Another investor has been bestselling author and guru, Tim Ferris, according to VentureBeat.

The fundamental question remains, however: Would you like a snack bar made from creepy crawlies?

VentureBeat tried it out and gave it a tepidly positive review:

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Unlike the typical office snack, the Exo cookies didn’t raise my blood sugar (which I measured with a glucometer). It wasn’t the tastiest snack I’d ever eaten, but the delightful mix of cricket protein, dates, cocoa, coconut, and almond butter didn’t leave me feeling sluggish — which is far more valuable than satisfying my mid-afternoon sweet tooth.

Companies: Exo, Kickstarter
People: Gabi Lewis
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