We founded HOP to give individuals more control over their long-term health and wellbeing through the foods they eat.
Geoff, Ash and Matt
HOP was founded on the 25th May 2018 by Geoff, Matthew and Ash after successfully pitching for start up funding from Student Enterprise, University of Surrey. The journey began much earlier and involved a huge number of ups and downs to reach this point.
We were seeing more and more products come onto the sports market that were trading off between the health and environmental benefits. A product was either great nutritionally but cost the Earth in some way, or visa versa, great for sustainability but at a cost to our needs. We believed there was a better way, and there is! Uniquely, edible insects provide both benefits. See how ->
The idea to create a business around edible insects was an extremely novel concept at the time despite most of the Eastern world having done so for a long time. There was a lot of proving to be done and people needed convincing once they'd overcome the perceived 'disgust' factor. This is why we chose a protein bar - sports people are familiar with this type of product. Once we formulated the first prototypes with cricket powder, dates, walnuts, cocoa, coconut oil, rice snaps, etc. we validated HOP BAR with sports people, showed it to nutritionists and investors, and pitched for start up funding.
Education on edible insects is one of our key activities, which is mostly through public speaking, and we love sharing HOP with new audiences! The initial shock: "eating insects!?" Which turns to curiosity: "how do you do it?", "is it easy to farm them?" Which brings a wide range of wonderful people into our journey.
We've had the pleasure to speak in front of countless audiences, with a few successes here and there: finalists at both Falling Walls (a conference hosted in Berlin on new and innovative ideas for future generations) and the Director of the Year Awards 2019, presented by Sir Trevor McDonald.
At the end of 2019 we were able to bring our first product to market HOP BAR Chocolate Nutmix, and sign on our first major retailers including musclefood, Amazon UK and The Scouts Store. We continue to grow and sponsor enthusiastic and talented HOP Ambassadors & Athletes who really identify with what we are doing. It’s a fast-growing and brilliant team.
Once we achieved funding (third time lucky!) we began an awesome collaboration with Juan to reformulate and optimise the new cricket protein bar.
However, optimising the formula to maximise taste and nutrition in our first prototype was only half the battle. How do you go about manufacturing a cricket protein bar?
The answer is: with great difficultly.
Juan is a Nutritionist & Medical Writer, a fellow Surrey alumnus with two Master’s degrees in Nutrition and Science Communication. Spend just 10 minutes with him and you'll be amazed by his breadth of knowledge, expertise, and in particular his talent for explaining complex information!
Our Research & The Future
HOP is a science-based business actively contributing to the latest research on edible insects through partnerships with UK and international universities. The research projects we have established and support are in sports exercise, nutrition, psychology, and food science with University of Surrey, University of Reading and King’s College London. The outcomes from these projects will provide a better understanding into how the human body metabolises insect food sources, supporting UK research and researchers, and complementing HOP’s scientific foundations.
HOP is not just a cricket protein bar designed to be a healthier and more sustainable alternative to other brands on the market, we aspire to be much more than that. Our aim is to change modern nutritional and cultural trends forever. We'll give you one of many examples...
Women over 50 with low-magnesium diets are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis. Let's say you've visited your GP or nutritionist who has now advised you to eat foods high in magnesium or to take additional supplements. Well, there is an edible insect, the mopane caterpillar, which contains 8-10x more magnesium by volume than wild salmon or beef. Now imagine that you're equipped with this new knowledge and health advice, next time at your coffee shop you grab your latte plus the 'caterpillar-fortified croissant'. That's our vision.
We have big dreams, with your support will achieve them!
Thanks to our key partners past and present who believe in and have supported HOP's mission.