Albert Heijn selling insect company’s own brand eggs

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages
© GettyImages
Netherlands supermarket giant, Albert Heijn, has started to sell eggs from laying hens fed live grubs; the sustainability and circular economy aspect of such egg production appealed to the retailing group.

The eggs are the own brand product - Oerei - of Dutch insect feed producer, Protix.

All 37 of Albert Heijn XL type stores will stock the products.

The eggs have already been on the shelves of a regional Dutch supermarket chain since 2016 - Agrimarkt in Zeeland. That chain is supplied by a local farmer, to which Protix provides the live black soldier fly (BSF) larvae. 

layer live larvae protix
Protix's own egg brand - Oerei

Tarique Arsiwalla, founder and chief commercial officer at Protix, told us previously:

“The farmer is supplementing 20% of dry feed with the live larvae, thus using local protein and eliminating the use of soy in the laying hen diet. The behavior of the birds [fed the live grubs] changes visibly; they are less bored and stop picking on each other.”

The eggs for Albert Heijn are said to be coming from a poultry farmer based in the Ospel, Limburg region of the Netherlands.

Insect fed salmon brand

In February, Arsiwalla said Protix’s own brand insect feed salmon, Friendly Salmon, ​would be commercialized in much the same as the company’s live larvae fed egg brand.  

The salmon product is the result of a four-year long research project – AquaFly - that began in 2014 and involved Protix along with Norwegian partners, the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU).

That collaborative effort aimed at developing a feed for salmon derived from Protix’s BSF larvae meal, ProteinX. 

Protix opened its first commercial insect protein plant in the Netherlands in 2017 and will break ground on a second facility there later this year.

February this year also saw the Dutch company enter into a partnership with Hendrix Genetics on insect breeding. The tie-up is aimed at further improving the potential of insects as an efficient protein converters, with feed use in mind, said the partners.

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