Coop, Switzerland's second-largest supermarket chain, announced on last Monday it will start selling insect-based food for humans later this month, making it the first grocer to do so in the Alpine nation.
The offered products are made of protein-rich meal worm produced by Swiss start-up Essento. The items will be sold in select Coop branches across Switzerland, including Geneva, Bern and Zurich.
The new norms make Switzerland the first European country to authorise sale of insect based products for human consumption. It now allows crickets and grasshoppers to be used in food other than mealworms which are mealworm beetles in larval form which was previously used in animal feed.
The worms will be bred under strict supervision to make them safe for human consumption and the firm has submitted to inspections by authorities.
Insects are consumed by two billion people as a part of their diet and around 1900 species of insects are considered to be edible. Insects are already popular in China, Brazil, Mexico, Thailand and other parts of the world.