A West Australian sweets company has begun selling chocolate coated insects in what they claim is an Australian first.
The Margaret River Chocolate Company launched the choc-covered bugs at the weekend, insisting there was enormous potential in the creepy-crawly treats.
Company co-founder Martin Black said insect candy, unlike conventional confectionary, would be rich in protein, iron, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid, and various vitamins.
"We believe there is huge potential for interesting and delicious chocolate insect combinations that are healthy, environmentally friendly and a rich source of protein," he said.
Black said crickets and mealworms could be farmed efficiently before being ground down and covered in chocolate to form tasty treats with high nutritional value.
"Obviously we are not going to stop making any of our delicious tried and tested favourites, but if we can open people's minds and taste buds to alternatives, that's all part of the adventure,” he said.
The World Economic Forum has been promoting the consumption of insects as a healthy and sustainable food source since 2018 when they published an article headlined: “Good grub - Why we might be eating insects soon.”
The article said insects emitted fewer emissions and required less resources to farm than traditional livestock. Switzerland changed its food safety laws in 2017 to become the first European country to allow the sale of insect-based food for humans.
The WEF estimated the bug industry could be worth $1.18b by 2023.