A new kind of snack has flown onto the scene and is here to stay. Making waves in the industry is Aspire Food Group, a company putting deliciously-seasoned cricket snacks at the forefront of innovation and appealing to venturesome consumers looking to broaden their palates and snack variety. Here to chat with me about the rising star in the deli industry is Vincent Vitale, the company’s Business Development Manager, who jumps right into the new happenings.
“All product development starts with a sincere effort to delight our customers, and this begins first by understanding our customers and their preferences,” Vincent tells me. “We ask what they want next. This includes type of product and flavor of our products. For our line of dry roasted seasoned crickets, for example, our customers wanted popular chip flavors like Sea Salt and Barbecue. We have found that certain regions gravitate toward certain flavors, so much so that the Atlanta Hawks actually wanted us to create a Cajun flavor of our dry roasted cricket line for Phillips Arena.”
After competing in, and ultimately winning, the Hult Prize in 2013, an achievement that granted the company a $1,000,000 win, Aspire Food Group was born; from that venture, the company has moved forward with steadfast determination, cognizant of global food security that brings taste and protein to consumers. Now that a spotlight is narrowed on the company’s efforts, having won the Winter Fancy Food Show’s Business Vision Award and having stepped into NBA and MLB arenas around the U.S., Aspire Food Group is looking to expand both its workspace and distribution footprint. Not only is the company excited for its first retail location this coming year, but it is also launching new products—which Vincent teases he can’t spill the beans on quite yet—and spreading its wings, so to speak, on the production side of things.
“We are currently in the process of expanding into a new cricket farming facility that is 10 times the size of our current facility, so we can keep up with demand for our products and ingredients,” Vincent shares with me, before explaining that the company also sells cricket protein powder, an immensely popular item, with a business-to-business model.
Since demand is on the rise, the company has increased its supply with its new facility expansion. Further, the company has also developed targeted marketing strategies to tap into the excitement surrounding its products.
“We are going through a very exciting rebranding exercise that will result in amazing new packaging! We want to be fun, engaging, and colorful,” Vincent explains. “We also know that the people who purchase our products have a wide range of interests, including protein-heavy diets, Paleolithic lifestyles, adventurous eating, and conscious efforts to make sustainable and eco-friendly choices. So we want to make sure our packaging reflects the diversity of our consumers.”
The company’s products can be found at the Atlanta Hawks’ Phillips Arena and have been sold at Seattle Mariners’ Safeco Field, with more locations in the works, so it’s safe to say that Aspire Food Group’s game plan seems to be working pretty well! With so much on the horizon, Aspire Food Group’s progress has turned into a homerun, an absolute, sustainable, and protein-packed snack that hits success out of the ball park.
So where will we see the innovative nosh next? Stay tuned in with us at Deli Market News to bite into more exciting news on Aspire Food Group and more.