Gummy Bugs is a delicious fruity treat made with real bugs. Students Jiani Lin, Juho Li and Louis Elwood-Leach created these edible treats as a way to get highly sustainable and nutritious foods into children’s regular diets.
"Gummy Bugs builds our children’s portfolio of foods that they can eat as they grow into a changing world.”
The team was also inspired to manufacture this candy to combat urgent environmental issues—particularly those that are a result of people’s dangerous consumption habits. One of the largest contributors to excessive water usage and greenhouse gas emissions is our reliance on meat as our primary source of protein. After extensive research, the team found that bugs are a sustainable and healthy alternative for protein. They added, "nowadays, children need to explore alternative sources of protein in order to live sustainably. Gummy Bugs builds our children’s portfolio of foods that they can eat as they grow into a changing world.”
The creators of this delectable treat also want to normalize entomophagy—the practice of eating bugs—at a young age, by creating a desirable treat that kids will want to buy.
Looking into the magnifying glass, curious customers can try and spot buggy pieces in the treats, such as wings or legs.
To manufacture Gummy Bugs, insects are ground up before being mixed into a liquid mixture of sugar, fruit flavors, corn syrup, gelatin and food coloring. The mixture is then put into insect-shaped molds, which are left to cool down until the mixture solidifies. The finished product essentially resembles the insect that they contain.
Looking closely at the treats will reveal identifiable pieces of insect. While pieces of insect are visible, there is no noticeable texture to the treats which can still be enjoyed just like any other confectionary.
Many iterations of Gummy Bugs were prototyped—ranging from whole crickets dipped in chocolate to gummies that barely resembled insects at all. The team wanted a perfect balance of curiosity, where consumers could recognize the buggy bits, and a delicious looking treat that they would still want to eat.
Gummy Bugs’ adorable mascots Bugsy and Wormy adorn the packaging of Gummy Bugs. On the store display box, the curious characters can be seen peering into a packet of Gummy Bugs with a magnifying glass. Looking into the magnifying glass, curious customers can try and spot buggy pieces in the treats, such as wings or legs. Bugsy and Wormy collectable stickers within each pack take Gummy Bugs from private consumption to public display—thus encouraging discussion and pride for entomophagy.