Symposium InsectSpace 2018

The symposium InsectSpace 2018 will focus on edible insects for human consumption. How can we overcome disgust and repulsion with insects? Researchers, food scientists, entrepreneurs and food designers will present interesting insights about why and how to use insects in our diet.

Organised by Foodspace

Wed 10 October 2018 13:30 to 22:00

Venue Impulse, building number 115

The main drivers of the edible insect market are demand for nutrient-rich food, environmentally sustainable production, high availability, and food security, while the main challenges are frameworks and risk assessments, populist food patterns and icky factor (1).

Western societies require focused media communication strategies and educational programmes that address the disgust factor. Influencing the public as well as policymakers and investors in the food industry, by providing validated information on the potential of insects as food sources, can help to push insects higher on political, investment and research agendas worldwide (2). Companies need to improve marketing strategies and product development to increase the curiosity and the acceptance of food products containing insects.

InsectSpace 2018 will be a meeting point for Food Science, Entrepreneurship, Food Design, and Gastronomy. It will bring new ways of more sustainable eating through creative and sensorial experiences and it creates a new stimulus for entrepreneurs and food designers interested in edible insects.

Besides food for thought you will have a chance to taste insect snacks during the event, and after the symposium, you can join the dinner experience with delicious dishes with insects, curated by FoodSpace.

InsectSpace Exhibition

An exhibition of food products with edible insects from all over the world will be presented during the event. You will have a unique chance to see in one place the products which are driving the market for edible insects worldwide.

Dining experience

At 19:30 join us for a thematic experience that pushes your sensorial boundaries and taste buds through the delicacy of insects*. A four-course walking and dining experience will showcase the potential of insects in the human palate. It will be an exploration of insects as food, in a playful and interactive narrative curated by FoodSpace at the Restaurant of the Future. What does it mean to be insectivorous? As a true meeting point of gastronomy and design interventions, expect to find yourself engulfed in an appetizing dinner.

*insects contain similar allergens to shellfish and dust mites. Dishes may contain all 14 allergens, such as gluten, crustaceans, soybean, nuts, eggs, fish, peanuts, milk, celery, mustard, sesame seeds, lupine, sulphur dioxide, and molluscs.

Program InsectSpace 2018

13.30 Registration

14.00 Welcome by Vincenzo Fogliano (Professor, Chair Food Quality & Design at WUR, The Netherlands) and Marco Mega (Founder of FoodSpace, The Netherlands).

Food Science & Consumer Behaviour

14.10 Joop van Loon (Professor, Coordinator course Insects as Food and Feed at WUR, The Netherlands) What do we need to know for quality and sustainability?

14.30 Jonas House (Lecturer of Sociology of Consumption and Households at WUR, The Netherlands) Insects are not “the new sushi”: Theories of practice and the acceptance of novel foods.

14.50 Lee Cadesky (Co-founder of C-fu Food and One Hop Kitchen, Canada) Edible insects - ingredient innovation for functionality and formulation.

15.10 Coffee break


15.40 Massimo Reverberi (Founder Bugsolutely, Thailand) Bugs crawling to the supermarket shelves. The New World of Insect-Based Consumer Packaged Goods.

16.00 Marian Peters (CEO New Generation Nutrition, The Netherlands) Insects and market opportunities: the route from a niche product to bulk application.

16.20 Evelien Donkers ( National manager & business developer for Jimini's in The Netherlands and Germany) How Jiminis is successfully commercializing its products.

16.40 Max Kramer & Baris Ozel (Founders Bugfundation, Germany) Establishing insects - changing the eating habit of a whole continent. From the first kitchen trials to the selling in hundreds of supermarkets, the two founders Baris and Max will portray their entrepreneurial history and experiences.

17.00 Break with insect snacks by Little Food

17.30 David Mellett (Co-Founder Little Food, Belgium) Insects are the present, not the future. How can we accelerate the edible insect market in Europe?

Art and Food Design

17.50 Marcel Dicke (Professor, Head of Laboratory of Entomology at WUR, Co-author 'Insect Cookbook', The Netherlands) Insects as a source of inspiration.

18.10 Katja Gruijters (Food designer, author 'Food Design. Exploring the future of food', The Netherlands) Future insects & identity. How to address a mixture of challenges to render insects accessible to the general public?

18.50 Drinks and networking


19.30 Thematic dinner at the Restaurant of the Future curated by FoodSpace

22.00 End of the dinner

Moderator: Emma Holmes (CEO & Creative director of EEH production)



Keynote Speakers


Marcel Dicke (The Netherlands) is a professor of Entomology and head of the Laboratory of Entomology at Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands. His main interest is in the ecology of insects and one of his discoveries is that plants respond to feeding by herbivorous insects with the production of odours that attract the enemy of their enemy (coined ‘crying for help’ by the plant). This research supports the development of biological control of insects in agriculture. In 2006 he received the Rank Prize for Nutrition (Trustees of Rank Prize Foundation, United Kingdom) and in 2007 he received the Spinoza award (also known as Dutch Nobel Prize) for his research.

His general interest is in exploring opportunities to use insects to solve societal problems and challenges. In 2006 he led a team that organised the festival Wageningen, City of Insects that attracted > 20,000 visitors. He is one of the authors of The Insect Cookbook (Columbia University Press, New York, USA), and was a member of the team that organised the international conference Insects to Feed the World in 2014.


Jonas House (The Netherlands) is a lecturer in the Sociology of Consumption and Households group at Wageningen University & Research. His research interests focus on dietary change and in particular on novel foods and issues relating to their establishment and public acceptance, and in the ways in which the edibility of food is established, maintained and changes. His research so far has investigated edible insects and sushi. He is also interested in how production and consumption affect and shape each other, as well as broader questions regarding changing public tastes and social practices. Before moving to Wageningen, he undertook a doctoral research at the University of Sheffield (UK) into public acceptance of insects as food in the Netherland.


Marian Peters (The Netherlands) is the CEO of New Generation Nutrition. She has been proactive in creating a global insect industry, markets and market breakthroughs for sustainable and nutritious insect products for feed and food. NGN creates new products and concepts containing 'Insects Inside' for own product development and for our clients in the feed and food industry.


Massimo Reverberi (Thailand) is the founder of Bugsolutely Thailand and Bugsolutely China, two start-ups in the new, booming market of edible insects. Bugsolutely Thailand produces and markets Cricket Pasta, the first pasta containing cricket flour. Bugsolutely China is based in Shanghai and produces Bella Pupa, the first silkworm flour-based snack. He is an expert about business development, marketing and likes challenges that require thinking outside of the box. Before founding Bugsolutely, he co-founded and managed Prima Pagina, a PR, and marketing agency based in Milan, Italy. As a Client Director for 17 years, he helped customers define and implement their marketing strategies. He left Italy in 2013 to explore South East Asia, before settling in Thailand and China.

Lee Cadeski

Lee Cadeski (Canada) is the co-founder of C-fu Foods. He leads research and development creating sustainable, nutritious, and tasty ingredients from insects. C-fu FOODS produces textured insect protein (TIP) a meat, dairy, and egg alternative made entirely from restructured insect protein as well as functional protein powders with high solubility. He is the co-founder of One Hop Kitchen which launched the world's first "Bugognese", a traditional Bolognese sauce with textured mealworm and cricket protein.

Max en Baris.jpg

Max Krämer & Baris Özel (Germany) are the founders of Bugfundation. In Thailand, they came across a simple idea, that could change the world - making valuable food out of tasty insects.
A lot of passionate hard work later, Germany’s first insect-based hamburger was born. Currently available in over 300 German supermarkets, the burger is taking big steps to approach the mainstream food market.


Katja Gruijters (The Netherlands) is a Dutch pioneering food designer. She focuses on new opportunities with regard to health, quality, seductiveness, honesty and waste reduction. She has developed food concepts for many companies for over 10 years. From eating and drinking venues to catering companies and manufacturers in the food industry. She is the author of the book ‘Food Design. Exploring the future of food’, and teacher of Food Design at ArtEZ Institute of Art in Arnhem.

1) Research and Market
2) Arnold van Huis et al. (2013)