Inflation Is So Bad That Aldi UK Might Start Selling Edible Insects

It's no secret that inflation has been seriously affecting countless consumers around the world, and that extends to food as well. If you've been to a grocery store at some point in the past year, you've likely seen inflation in action. As CNN reported in September, food prices have risen 11.4% with a 13.5% increase in grocery prices in particular. For context, food prices haven't had an annual cost bump this big in over 40 years.

In one Reddit thread from earlier this year in the 'EatCheapandHealthy' subreddit, a user questioned how much everyone's grocery costs have gone up recently, lamenting how difficult it is to find anything budget-friendly at grocery stores. The simple query got 127 responses, with many stating that not only are they paying more for groceries on average, but that they're getting less food for that money.

While many consumers are trying to figure out how exactly to make their food budget stretch in response to the rising costs, it seems grocery stores are beginning to brainstorm potential solutions as well. In response to climbing food prices, the grocery chain Aldi apparently decided to think outside the box and look into alternative forms of protein — namely, it's considering stocking edible insects on store shelves, a choice that might become increasingly common in the future.

Crickets were proposed as a protein source

Aldi is likely always trying to find exciting new products to tempt consumers. One of the buzzworthy ways it is attempting to do this in the U.K. is through the Channel 4 show, "Aldi's Next Big Thing." In the series, food and drink entrepreneurs get the opportunity to bring their products to a panel of judges for consideration, per The Guardian. One entrepreneurial duo recently presented their packaged protein alternative.

As Mirror reports, Yum Bug, a company created by 28-year-old founders Aaron Thomas and Leo Taylor, produces insect recipe kits that offer a twist on traditional recipes like ground meat, burgers, and nuggets, with crickets as the protein source. The company founders highlighted how sustainable crickets were as a food source, as well as how packed they were with nutrients like protein, iron, and calcium. They seem to hope that by presenting the unconventional protein source in a kit format and in familiar foods, they will make Aldi's audience more willing to take a chance on crickets. However, in a video clip Aldi U.K.'s Managing Director of Buying, Julie Ashfield, seemed impressed but not totally sold. She told the duo to "come back in five years" (via the Independent).

That doesn't mean bugs are off the menu entirely. Recently, insects made their first appearance in the kitchen on the beloved cooking competition show, "The Great British Bake Off." Contestant Janusz Domagala brought crickets into the legendary bake-off tent for one of his bakes.