Growing your own edible insects in your kitchen

A comprehensive range of support for the development of a home insect farm

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The Company

Company founder, Thomas Constant, incorporated Beobia Ltd in April 2019 to commercialise his final year university project - a household desktop unit that allows users to grow and harvest mealworms as an alternative protein source called ‘Petite Farm’. The project won the Loughborough Design School award for 'The project with the most commercial potential.'

What they do

BeoBia aim to lead the food revolution by developing pioneering technology for people to enjoy insect-based foods. The first of these products will be an insect growing pod for people to use at home. This will empower users to grow a sustainable and healthy source of insect protein from household waste. They are developing a disruptive entry level product that’s affordable, stylish, energy efficient, and made out of recycled plastic.

Petite Farm

The Challenge

In order to commercialise the product, Beobia needed to improve their knowledge of the food sector and its regulations and carry out further product development including finding and testing alternative recycled plastics. This is an ongoing iterative process for Beobia, prototyping, testing and evaluating different design variations and materials.

Beobia were also interested in importing insect-based foods, branding them and selling them or giving them away as part of a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for product development.

To progress their development and commercialisation they needed:

  • to collate information on alternative sheet and filament plastics suitable for 3D printing
  • to acquire a 3D printer capable of developing components for the prototypes which will be used to evaluate the materials and for initial user trials
  • to purchase a range of different materials so that they could refine what materials to use
  • to improve their knowledge of regulations and legislation affecting importing and selling from the UK, including what information/labelling needs to be on the packaging
  • guidance on best practise in the food sector addressing areas such as product development, how waste can be reduced or reused, more efficient processes and assistance in determining what the business focus should be in relation to low carbon/eco issues beyond regulations
  • information regarding changes in customer preferences/habits and additional trends that are affecting people's views towards edible insects in the West

Insect foods

The Solutions

  • 2 Day Market Research
  • They received research support from ERDF SING to collate information on recycled sheet and filament plastics, as well as any suitable alternatives. This included the origin of the recycled plastic and whether the end product could be recycled at the end of its life.

  • Grant funding
  • The company applied to ERDF SING for grant funding towards the purchase of a 3D printer capable of developing components for the prototypes and to evaluate the alternative materials.

  • PACE Supply Chain Assessment
  • Support from ERDF PACE Supply Chain helped to inform and confirm their understanding of the UK food sector and regulations relating to the supply of insect powders as well as the materials that can be used in the product.

The Outcome

Relevant and innovative recycled materials were discovered in the market research, which enabled Beobia to have a clear understanding of the viable options which are available to them for use in their research.

The grant funding was critical and allowed the company to purchase machines for R&D testing. Without this grant it would have been difficult for them to move forward effectively and meet their deadlines.

Support from PACE was fundamental and empowered them to effectively understanding the complex regulations around edible insects in the UK food sector.

“The iNet team were extremely helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. It was a pleasure to work with them and I highly recommend their support.”

Thomas Constant, Director, Beobia Ltd
About the client

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Beobia Ltd
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