KKU holds an event: ‘Edible Insect Food Fair-1st in Thailand’ to spark an idea in bringing Thai crickets to the world’s food industry

October 3, 2020 at Ton Tan Market, Muang District, Khon Kaen – the Strategic Research and Coordination Institute for Northeast Development and College of Graduate Studies in Management, Khon Kaen University, in the course CM017814 Marketing Management organized an event called “Nung Sin Kin Maeng” at a world’s protein resource or the Edible Insect Food Fair-1st in Thailand @Khon Kaen. Assoc. Prof. Rangsan Niamsanit, Director of the Strategic Research and Coordination Institute for Northeast Development conveyed an opening address. Among those attending the opening session were Dr. Busakorn Leejoeiwara, the course instructor, KKU administrators, a lot of cricket farmers, MBA graduate students, officers from private and governmental organizations, the public and the media.

The “Nung Sin Kin Maeng” at a world’s protein resource or the Edible Insect Food Fair-1st in Thailand @Khon Kaen was an event aiming at development of a business model and products from crickets. The objectives were to train the students taking the course CM017814 Marketing Management and cricket farmers to develop a business as well as to promote competition, manufacturing a variety of food products from crickets and adding values to these products. Moreover, the activity provided a channel for selling and developing products at a commercial scale.

Dr. Busakorn Leejoeiwara, the course instructor explained that this Edible Insect Food Fair-1st in Thailand @Khon Kaen is part of the course CM017814 Marketing Management. The activities were scheduled both in the morning and the evening. The morning session included the second CRICKET-BASED FOODS INNOVATION CONTEST – IDEA TO MARKET DESIGN THINKING APPROACH TO MARKETING MANAGEMENT, with an aim to have the Young Executive MBA of the 21st Class to present their marketing plan and manufactured cricket food products. There was a committee that judged the contesters and gave suggestions. The evening session featured presentation of the 15 teams of students.

“We often see a lot of food fairs held in other countries. They also promote edible insect foods because insects contain high protein and benefit the body. Countries in Europe and Australia have organized the food fairs for insect foods with start-up businesses. In our country, insect food consumption is not that popular although the potential is high. Now, there are foreigners coming to Thailand to invest in cricket farming because the climate and temperature here is suitable. Then they continue to manufacture the crickets at their home abroad. This reflects that insects, with their protein, are in high demand in the world. Therefore, adding values to the raw materials like cricket is an important issue that, if achieved, will build more incomes to Thai farmers.”

Dr. Busakorn Leejoeiwara

At the end, Dr. Busakorn added that crickets are a kind of small animal with great power, because the demands are distributed all over the world. So there is another mechanism to create money for the international food business and build a job in the time of crisis when the private sector needs to lay off a lot of their officers due to the economic problem.

“Cricket industry is a big mechanism. We see the money scattered all over the world, so why not picking it up? Why don’t we train to build a job for ourselves, using the knowledge and experiences from training in companies to manage our own business. We are able to assess what cost we have to control, what selling plan we should use, what production plan we should rely on, where our market is and what organization we should approach. Next, we can connect as a network because a manufacturing industry requires GMP standard so that the products can be exported worldwide,” Dr. Busakorn said.

The Strategic Research and Coordination Institute for Northeast Development has encouraged farmers to farm crickets for the students to develop into products and experiment the selling at this fair. The 15 teams of Young Executive MBA, Khon Kaen University used cricket powder made from the crickets from the farms to make the following products: cricket spread, smooth rice porridge, Nong Jing seasoning powder, picketyore, crick balls, cricket crackers, cricket dried rice noodles, sticky crick from grains, Isan cricket sausage ‘Echo’, cricket sausage, KETO cricky bun, Cric Cric-Cricoa Crunchy brownie, crickey doggy dog food, and sticky crick with grains.

Thai ]