Grasshoppers for Commercial Sale | Future Agro Challenge

Grasshoppers for Commercial Sale

Global demand for protein is expected to double while existing protein sources are reaching their limitations. More sustainable and healthier protein sources are needed.

A wide range of innovative new protein sources is being developed: plant based, algae, cultured meat and insects. Each new solution has its pros and cons and the producers of these new sources tackle challenges ranging from taste and flavor, texture, production cost, scaling up to mass production, consumers perception, regulation and more. In Israel, a staggering number of alternative protein startups emerged over recent years in all fields and a local ecosystem of Foodtech/Agritech was formed attracting more investors, corporations and startups to join.

Alternative protein sources are forecasted to reach 33% of the protein market by the middle of this century while edible insects are expected to reach $8 billion within a decade according to Barclay’s research.

“I was born in a Kibbutz, Israel and my grandparents used to tell me stories about the 1950’s when Israel suffered from locusts swarms (locusts are grasshoppers!). They used to rush to the fields to scare the grasshoppers away while they saw Yemenite and Moroccan Jews coming to the fields to collect and eat the grasshoppers. So, I learned at a young age that for many grasshoppers are food and that they are also Kosher. Fast-forwarding 30+ years into the future, as a serial entrepreneur in food and nutrition I learned about the global protein challenge and the solution was waiting for me.  My passion is to improve the health of children and families through better nutrition and grasshoppers are the best solution you can find. Now we already know that grasshopper protein support growth of children, improve metabolism and more. And I wouldn’t replace this job with any other, shares Dror Tamir, Founder and CEO of Hargol Foodtech.”

Hargol FoodTech is the first in the world to grow grasshoppers on a commercial scale, at a higher quality to keep the quality constant.  With grasshoppers being the world’s most widely eaten insect the demand for them already exists across Asia, Africa and Central America.

However, grasshoppers are superior to other insects (and protein sources) with their superior nutrient content of over 70%  protein, neutral taste and flavor, being sustainable to grow (X20 times more efficient than beef), healthier, regulated and approved as food all over the world – All this makes them an exciting ingredient for traditional food producers and we are already engaged in joint ventures to develop, manufacture and distribute high-end products, such as sports protein powders, nutritional supplements and meat replacement products based on this unique ingredient.

We measure our success through three major parameters: production, demand and impact.

Hargol’s workplan includes targets and we measure our achievements. For example, we set a target to have at least 15% of persons of disabilities and will hit that target on Q1 2020.

As an entrepreneur, you tackle challenges day and night. Hargol’s main challenges are in regulation of new food products and changing the perception towards consumption of insects in countries where they are not common food.  We do this through joint ventures with leading food producers in order to offer food products where grasshoppers provide all its advantages.

When Hargol was established over 5 years ago almost no one understood or agreed with our vision. FoodTech and AgriTech were not highly thought of. It was almost impossible to raise funds. We had to change the perception. We did that through generation of PR globally and participation in innovation competitions. Those competitions, and winning them, changed the perception, as well as, increased the interest of investors in Hargol.

One very important aspect of developing a startup is building your network. Both FAC final event in Turkey and FAC Global Network expanded our reach.

Hargol can feed the world. Grasshoppers for thousands of year have been feeding human kind. They are mentioned in the Bible as Kosher, in the Quran as Halal and in the New Testament as food. This ancient solution can now provide a solution to a hungry world.

My greatest experience with FAC was the opportunity to meet, talk, share ideas and generate among persons that may be considered enemies.

Stop bitching – Start pitching.  Every startup and entrepreneur tackles challenges. Most of them are the same. The only way is to keep on moving. Don’t wait for others to do the job for – Do it.


Hargol  – 2018 Global Finalist First Runner Up