A successful Kickstarter campaign? Check. A unique recipe? Check. What’s next? We need to find a reliable supplier of cricket flour and a bar manufacturer with enough production capacity, so that we can actually start making those bars. As expected, it didn’t go without a hitch.
The most sustainable cricket farm on the planet
After doing a lot of research, we chose a supplier of cricket flour from Thailand. We didn’t want to leave anything to chance so we traveled there to personally inspect the farm. We discussed our prospective farm with an eminent entomophagy (insect eating) scientist beforehand and found out that the farm was excellent at everything except feeding. After long discussions, the cricket farm decided to use a different kind of feed. Yes! We also contacted other cricket farms to have an acceptable back-up, just in case. When our first delivery arrived, we ran microbiological, bacteriological, and chemical lab tests. To our relief, everything seems perfect. Our cricket flour is sustainable, very nutritious and super safe!
Looking for bigger partners
Before Kickstarter, we had a deal with a producer of bars. It was a small-scale production and the bars were supposed to be hand-made. Unfortunately, soon after our campaign finished, the producer unexpectedly ended operations. We took it as a sign and started looking for bigger partners. We found three bar manufacturers that use sophisticated machinery instead of human hands that would allow us to improve quality and lower production costs. It turned out, our protein bar is very unique, and none of them have ever made anything like it. In the end, only one manufacturer was able to successfully make the bars in a way that met our standards of quality. The other candidates tried changing our recipe. No, thank you!
Never ending series of test runs
As expected, our new bar manufacturer allowed us to make changes. We had fresh new prototypes in our hand, yet again! The improvements to our protein bar were immediately visible. They are now firmer, have a better structure, and overall look like a higher quality product. On the other hand, the energy bars are a bit of a mess at the moment, too dense and tiny looking. We want to find a compromise between the previous and the new prototype. This means we have to run at least one more test production to settle on the right dimensions so that we can also finalize the design of the packaging and the boxes.
As it stands now, we hope that we will start selling in March of 2017.