Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Hopper Foods launches Austin’s first locally made cricket bar

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com
Hopper Bars, energy bars made with cricket flour and other nutrient-dense ingredients, are the first product from the Austin-based Hopper Foods.

Austin has had a bug-eating festival for years, but only recently have we seen entrepreneurs take a gamble on entomophagy, the act of intentionally eating insects for food.

As we’ve written before, humans around the world intentionally consume insects as a source of sustainable protein, and in America, where it’s not as common, we accidentally consume dozens if not hundreds of them every year.

A new Austin-based company called Hopper Foods is helping us eat even more, but in a much tastier fashion. Hopper Bars, from founders Jack Ceadel, Marta Hudecova and John Tucker, are energy bars made with crickets ground so fine that they have the taste and texture of wheat germ.

The cricket flour, made with locally raised insects, is mixed with other nutrient-dense ingredients (almonds, chia seeds, honey) to create three varieties: peanut butter, cherry and cacao; blueberry, cranberry and pistachio; and kale, green tea, seaweed and ginger. They are all gluten-free, soy-free and non-GMO with about eight grams of protein per bar.

Like many energy bars on the market, these have a dense texture and chew that are redeemed by the deep, rich sweetness of dried fruit and the interesting crunch of the nuts, seeds or cacao. The most polarizing flavor was the kale seaweed, which I wasn’t a fan of but was a co-worker’s favorite.

You can find more information — and a link to their Kickstarter campaign, which will help the company expand nationally this fall — at hopperatx.com. The bars will be sold exclusively at In.gredients, 2610 Manor Road, until October, when the distribution expansion is planned. You can also pre-order bars in bulk online ($36 for 12 bars).