Sonae MC’s Continente banner has started selling a range of insect-based food products, produced by startup Portugal Bugs.
Continente has commenced the sale of the products after Portugal’s Directorate General for Food and Veterinary (DGAV) authorised seven species of insects as suitable for human consumption in June.
The insect-based products available in Continente use Tenebrio Molitor, an insect also known as the mealworm, and are available in snack, flour and protein bar formats.
The products carry the 'Continente Food Lab' label and consumer feedback will determine whether they remain on the shelves after an initial trial period.
Products include Tasty Mealworms snacks, Mealworm Bites protein bars and Tenebrio Molitor insect flour.
Tasty Mealworms snacks consist of dehydrated insects seasoned with cayenne pepper or sea salt, which are rich in protein and a source of fibre. In addition, they can also be added as a topping in salads, soups and pasta.
Elsewhere, Mealworm Bites protein bars are made from 100% natural ingredients, while Tenebrio Molitor insect flour can be used to enrich bread recipes, biscuits, cakes, pancakes and milkshakes.
Tapping Into A Global Trend
Sonae MC commercial director, Paula Jordão, said that the "consumption of insects is a worldwide trend, with very interesting nutritional properties and with lower production costs, besides the reduction of environmental impact".
The products can be purchased in the 10 Continente hypermarkets where the Food Lab corner is available (Matosinhos, Colombo, Gaia Shopping, Gaia Jardim, Telheiras, Oeiras, Vasco da Gama, Cascais, Antas and CoimbraShopping).
They can also be purchased online in the Greater Lisbon and Porto areas.