Normally when you eat an energy bar, you would expect it to have grains, oats, nuts, and nutrients to fulfill your energy requirements. Many people take specialized energy bars like protein bars that suffice to increase their protein intake; others try to gain vitamins, other vital nutrients, etc. There is also a wide range of flavors available to suit every palate.
However, the energy bar we are talking about today is unique. You may think, well, every other energy bar brand talks about how it is different from the other brand, and there are merely some flavoring differences. Otherwise, they are all one and the same after taking their wrappers off. So what is so unique about this one that we are claiming so boldly?
Well, this one special ingredient in Chapul energy bars increases their protein content to the maximum that is available – crickets. Founded by Pat Crowley and his friends working as a focus group on environmental sustainability, Chapul came to them as an idea to sustain the world’s water supply and make something mainstream with it.
And so, a whitewater rafting guide turned entrepreneur turned his love for eating insects into a sustainable mainstream product. He started with base research to understand how cricket farming is a sustainable solution, how crickets pack maximum protein, almost two times more protein than beef, and would definitely make for over 90% of water supply savings if cultivated.
He presented the idea that eating insects can greatly counter and reduce the amount of water that is wasted in producing meat-based protein. He backed these claims by showing how insects convert their meal into protein almost ten times more efficiently in comparison to cows or pigs, automatically making it a superfood.
And so Chapul was born – in its true meaning, it is an Aztec word for crickets. It can be learned that Aztecs were the oldest known people who used to consume insects and crickets in particular. They used to make flour out of crickets and used it to supplement their protein. Hence, it is indeed an age-old technique for making sustainable life choices.
So like many of the people who have appeared on Shark Tank, Pat also started his company’s funding via a Kickstarter campaign. Traditionally many people questioned the proposition of consuming bugs like crickets. However, Pat was still able to garner a good number of fan-following because of how unique the product and the thought process were.
Therefore, an obvious next step for Pat was to give Shark Tank a go. So while he had started the energy bar business in 2012 sometime, he got the chance to get on with a national television appearance in 2015. He entered with a pitch of asking $50,000 for a 5% equity of his company. When he started talking about the uniqueness of his energy bar, he brought out the samples.
That is the moment when the judges’ attitudes completely switch. While majorly they were creeped out, Pat took the chance and explained further how so many countries are already on board with consuming all kinds of bugs. Hence, he wanted to bring this sustainable choice to America and went to hand out the samples, one packet for each judge.
All of the judges became hesitant but still went ahead to take a bite. However, soon the questions started pouring. However, surprisingly, the tipping point came when Pat ever so deliberately announced he is currently the only FDA-approved seller to have products with crickets in them, doing it legally and making a good enough sales amount.
This was certainly a mike-drop for the judges, who then announced that although the business spectrum of things sounds amazing, they can’t wrap their heads around crickets. However, Mark Cuban was keen and asked if they could become flour suppliers for 20%. Pat countered that he could go 15%, and the deal was sealed.
Today, Chapul is a brand name synonymous with introducing and bringing crickets to the mainstream. They continue to sell their products and very much stay relevant in the market through their website. They have since continued to ask for investments and expand their business to include a wider range of products from protein energy bars to protein powders etc.
Our Review of Chapul
We were fortunate to get our hands on one of the Chapul product range’s best selling products, the Chapul Cricket Protein Powder. The flour is advertised as transparently as it can be with the tagline “Nothing but the Crickets.” Many would think it is quite a strategy to drive people away but instead, it is like saying “pure gold” because there is no mixing.
Therefore, you get all the enriched goodness of cricket protein and nothing else. The essential branched-chain amino acids aid in muscle development, and it has more than four times the iron than spinach and vitamin B12 than salmon. It is quite evidently pure gold in terms of its nutrition count, and one should definitely give it a try.
Pros of Chapul
- More protein than beef.
- More iron than spinach.
- More vitamin B12 than salmon.
- Good source of prebiotic fiber.
- No GMOs, no soy, no dairy
- Promotes water conservation
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
Cons of Chapul
It is made of crickets, an unconventional choice, and a source of all the goodness that many people might never agree on even trying.
Who Is Chapul For?
Chapul is not particularly targeted towards a niche but the general masses. It is for anyone and everyone to try and increase their protein supplement source through it. It has many vital nutrients that are way more in quantity than any of the stereotypical sources one leans towards when acquiring those qualities. All in all, it is a great product for both the consumer and the environment.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Chapul is definitely its kind product. There are now many brands that have gone mainstream with cricket products, but none actually sell the whole flour. That’s why Chapul is also a supplier brand that supplies to other brands besides the regular consumers. Therefore, you really can’t say if there is an exact alternative that falls in competition with Chapul.
Our Final Thoughts
It is safe to say that it is very easy to be creeped out because of the crickets, but one should put their fears aside and try this brand. Chapul is really one of the leading sustainability choices for all kinds of people. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or follow any other type of food grouping – Chapul has what you need to supplement nutrition qualities. Bon Appetit!