Bitty Foods company logo

The profile is currenly unclaimed by the seller. All information is provided by CB Insights.

bittyfoods.com

Founded Year

2014

Stage

Unattributed | Alive

Total Raised

$1.18M

Last Raised

$1.18M | 6 yrs ago

About Bitty Foods

Bitty makes delicious foods with cricket flour. The company starts with sustainably raised crickets, which are slow roasted to bring out their nutty, toasted flavor. They are then milled into a fine flour that becomes the basis of the company's delicious, high-protein baked goods and baking mixes.

Bitty Foods Headquarter Location

1355 3rd Ave. #4

San Francisco, California, 94122,

United States

415-367-5516

Predict your next investment

The CB Insights tech market intelligence platform analyzes millions of data points on venture capital, startups, patents , partnerships and news mentions to help you see tomorrow's opportunities, today.

Expert Collections containing Bitty Foods

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

Bitty Foods is included in 3 Expert Collections, including Food & Beverage .

F

Food & Beverage

2,791 items

A

Alternative Proteins Startups

366 items

This Collection includes B2B and B2C companies developing alternatives to animal-derived proteins, including plant-based meat, dairy alternatives, lab-grown or cultured meat, and fermented proteins.

W

Wellness Tech

1,287 items

We define wellness tech as companies developing technology to help consumers improve their physical, mental, and social well-being. Companies in this collection play across a wide range of categories, including food and beverage, fitness, personal care, and corporate wellness.

Bitty Foods Patents

Bitty Foods has filed 1 patent.

patents chart

Application Date

Grant Date

Title

Related Topics

Status

8/5/2015

Chickpea dishes, Dietary supplements, Legume dishes, Arab cuisine, Staple foods

Application

Application Date

8/5/2015

Grant Date

Title

Related Topics

Chickpea dishes, Dietary supplements, Legume dishes, Arab cuisine, Staple foods

Status

Application

Latest Bitty Foods News

Meet the Entrepreneurs Driving the Edible Insect Movement

Feb 7, 2017

Edible insects have been hailed as the food of the future, but challenges remain before crickets can hop their way from sci-fi to food system savior. Image credit: Bitty Foods ---Shares February 7, 2017 In September 2016, the U.S. government began soliciting proposals from private companies interested in genetically modifying insects for human consumption. The solicitation, issued through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, frames the issue as one of "global security," touting the potential for insects to sustain humans in the face of international catastrophe, armed conflict and even space travel. Investors Have Bet $4 Million on It. This vision might sound like the plot of a low-budget sci-fi flick, but it’s also a sign of just how far the edible insect industry has come. In a matter of just a few years, the idea of eating bugs has moved from the fringe into our kitchens, boardrooms and halls of government. Despite all of this progress, hurdles remain. If the edible insect industry is ever going to make the leap from science fiction to real-world savior, it must first win over skeptical consumers, overcome regulatory uncertainties and catch up with nearly a century of agricultural industrialization. Insects for a hungry world Among the first to take notice of Uncle Sam’s foray into bug eating was Megan Miller, co-founder of Bitty Foods . The San Francisco-based company, started by Miller and Leslie Ziegler in 2013, manufactures flour, snacks and baked goods using crickets. Miller, like many of her peers, sees eating insects not as a fad, but a necessity. “Economists are predicting that by the year 2050, there's going to be at least an extra 2 billion people on Earth,” Miller says. “The agriculture systems we have now are not going to be able to feed that number of people.” Indeed, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has suggested that the world will have to double its agricultural output by 2050 just to keep pace with population growth and the rising middle class. “For me, the light just went on when I realized edible insects could be turned into a source of nutrients that could feed into the global food supply and alleviate that stress,” Miller says. That was 2013, the same year that the FAO published a landmark report on the issue. More than 2 billion people around the world already eat insects as part of their regular diet, according to the FAO. However, as incomes rise, more and more of these people are abandoning their traditional diets in favor of Western tastes. That means, among other things, eating a whole lot more meat. If we are to convince the global middle class to stop trading their mealworms and crickets for meat and potatoes, Miller says, we must first convince Westerners that creepy crawlies aren’t so creepy. This, of course, is easier said than done. Early successes Most of the startups operating in the space so far have confronted this challenge by targeting fitness enthusiasts, paleo diet adherents and other early adopters. The strategy has been successful in gaining traction — both in the media and in Silicon Valley. “Investment is certainly accelerating,” says Zoe Leavitt, an analyst with CB Insights , via email. Investors have poured $6 million into the edible insect industry so far in 2016, a six-fold increase over last year. Most of this money — some $4 million — went to Exo Foods , a company that manufactures protein bars from cricket powder and counts entrepreneur Tim Ferriss and rapper Nas among its investors. Bitty Foods, meanwhile, has raised $1.2 million in seed funding from investors including Arielle Zuckerberg, sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and a prolific investor in insect startups. The figures are impressive for an industry that barely existed three years ago, but Leavitt cautions against making sweeping assertions. “This space is still early, fragmented and immature,” she says, “so any estimates of overall funding trends should be understood as rough indicators of activity.” Creating demand Robert Nathan Allen is executive director of Little Herds , an Austin-based educational nonprofit, as well as a founding member of the North American Edible Insect Coalition . The trade group, started earlier this year, is in the process of electing officers, who will be tasked with, among other things, generating demand. “We have a very unique problem that most trade associations don't have,” Allen says. “The National Onion Board or the Association of Broccoli Farmers, yeah, they've got a tough sell, but nothing like getting people to eat bugs.” How exactly do you convince Americans to ingest insects? For Miller, it's mostly an exercise in branding. “You get like, one cricket on a blade of grass, and that is cute," Miller says. "You get like, 100,000 crickets crawling over each other, and that's someone's nightmare. … It's just the visuals. We try to reduce the friction for people." That’s why you won’t see a lot of crickets on Bitty’s packaging or marketing materials. “If you strip away the look and the feel,” Miller says, “all you end up having is a protein powder, and it’s really no different than any other protein powder. You can incorporate it into a variety of foods.” Allen says he hopes the coalition can build on the efforts of entrepreneurs such as Miller and begin marketing insects as a commodity. “We need a ‘Got Bugs?’ campaign,” Allen says. Clarifying regulations Overcoming consumers’s aversion to insects is a daunting enough challenge, but it’s not the only one hampering growth in the industry. Regulatory uncertainty is also a limiting factor -- one which Allen says he believes the coalition can help alleviate. One of the first orders of business will be to convince the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to add crickets, mealworms and other insect-based products to the agency’s database of “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) ingredients. “We need better regulatory certainty to encourage more infrastructure investment, as well as more distribution,” Allen says, “There are a lot of big-box retailers that are hesitant to stock products because they don't have that certainty.“ In general, insects don’t appear to present any peculiar health risks. In 2015, the European Food Safety Authority issued a risk assessment of the industry, concluding that insects present mostly the same dangers as other sources of protein, though the minimal amount of scientific literature on the subject leaves room for uncertainty. Studies have suggested that people with shellfish allergies might be allergic to certain edible insects. Most other known risks are dependent on the way in which insects are reared, researchers have concluded. It is perfectly legal to sell insects under current FDA regulations, as long as they have been raised for human consumption. Still, they won’t be considered technically safe until they’ve been listed in the GRAS database. Allen says he would like to see the coalition develop a set of voluntary best practices for the industry. He added that recent media reports suggesting the coalition planned to undertake an aggressive lobbying effort were misleading. “The solution isn't lobbying lawmakers,” Allen says. “It's to have a very clear set of standard operating procedures for insect farmers, processors and manufacturers. We're not creating new rules for something that's strange and unusual. We're trying to show how insects are a food just like shrimp, pork, soybeans or peanuts.” The industrial cricket farm Even if Allen could convince regulators and consumers that crickets are basically just tiny chickens with exoskeletons, the bugs's price tag would tell a different story. “If you had an amazing food that made everything you added it to taste 10 times better and it was really, really good for you, that would be fantastic,” says Daniel Imrie-Situnayake, CEO of Tiny Farms . “But not if it cost more than gold. Right now, crickets are in that category.” Situnayake says he intends to change this. His San Francisco-based company has been working for the last several years to lay the technological groundwork for an edible insect revolution. The company raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding earlier this year from investors including Arielle Zuckerberg. Situnayake says his near-term goal is to transform Tiny Farms into a “ Tyson of crickets,” with a network of contract farmers using the company’s proprietary technology to raise insects on a truly industrial scale. Of course, this analogy has its limits. “I think the crucial point at which we part ways with Tyson is that we want to do this in a way that is sustainable ,” Situnayake says, “not just in terms of the environment but in terms of the farmers and their livelihoods.” The first step in that process is achieving price parity. Chicken currently costs about half as much as cricket protein, though Situnayake is quick to point out that this wasn’t always the case. “A few hundred years ago,” he says, “you would have a chicken you wouldn't even eat because it was too valuable as a source of eggs. We're in kind of the same place with crickets, where we have a couple hundred years of agricultural industrialization to catch up with before they are cheap enough to compete with other foods.” The good news, he says, is that much of the technology and insight needed for this revolution to occur has already been developed. "The underlying properties of the cricket are better in terms of feed conversion, water use and yield per hectare than chicken will ever be," he says. "So while they're expensive, once we've gotten that kind of agricultural process figured out, they’ll be in another league entirely in terms of affordability.” At least one, well-publicized study has disputed the industry’s claims about feed conversion ratios (the amount of protein produced per unit of feed consumed). The authors of that 2015 study reared crickets on five different diets. One group ate corn-, soy- and grain-based feed -- a diet comparable to that of chickens -- while others were fed processed food waste or agricultural residue. The crickets that were fed processed waste produced protein no more efficiently than chickens. Nearly all of the crickets that were fed straight food waste died before they could be harvested, and the crickets that were fed a grain-based diet were only slightly more efficient than their feathered peers. Still, Situnayake says he believes future innovations will improve these metrics. Already, he says, Tiny Farms has designed a pilot facility capable of achieving price parity with chicken. Tiny Farms is in the process of scaling this concept and looking for farmer partners. Related:  10 Food & Farming Companies to Watch - Entrepreneur's Brilliant 100 Situnayake wouldn’t put a timetable on the rollout, but he made it clear that this was only the first step in a much larger strategy. “We see this as kind of the Apollo project for insect protein,” he says. “We want to show that crickets work as the spearhead for showing that it’s possible to use insects as an agricultural product. I think this is the start of something really kind of transformational.”

Bitty Foods Web Traffic

Rank
Page Views per User (PVPU)
Page Views per Million (PVPM)
Reach per Million (RPM)
CBI Logo

Bitty Foods Rank

  • When was Bitty Foods founded?

    Bitty Foods was founded in 2014.

  • Where is Bitty Foods's headquarters?

    Bitty Foods's headquarters is located at 1355 3rd Ave., San Francisco.

  • What is Bitty Foods's latest funding round?

    Bitty Foods's latest funding round is Unattributed.

  • How much did Bitty Foods raise?

    Bitty Foods raised a total of $1.18M.

  • Who are Bitty Foods's competitors?

    Competitors of Bitty Foods include Livin Farms and 6 more.

You May Also Like

Critter Bitters Logo
Critter Bitters

Critter Bitters offers cocktail bitters made with toasted crickets.

A
Aspire Food Group

Aspire Food Group provides economically challenged, malnourished populations with high protein and micronutrient-rich food solutions derived from the supply and development of insects and insect-based products.

human improvement Logo
human improvement

human improvement (hi) is a health food company that develops cricket-based supplements.

F
Flying Spark

Flying Spark makes use of fruit fly larvae, which consume fresh fruits and have a lifespan of only seven days. With its technology, Flying Spark ensures low-cost cultivation and processing with zero waste as all the parts of the larvae are used for producing proteins.

E
Entomo Farms

Entomo Farms is a manufacturer of cricket flour and insect protein.

Livin Farms Logo
Livin Farms

Livin Farms offers a desktop insect farm grows the cleanest protein supplement.

Discover the right solution for your team

The CB Insights tech market intelligence platform analyzes millions of data points on vendors, products, partnerships, and patents to help your team find their next technology solution.

Request a demo

CBI websites generally use certain cookies to enable better interactions with our sites and services. Use of these cookies, which may be stored on your device, permits us to improve and customize your experience. You can read more about your cookie choices at our privacy policy here. By continuing to use this site you are consenting to these choices.