The Bug Factory launches internationally to re-shape the future of pet feed

The Bug Factory’s mission is to empower people to reduce their carbon footprint, reuse their food waste and create continuous, sustainable animal feed. The brand is aimed to help fight climate change starting with Mealworm-growing pod innovation

Founded in 2019, The Bug Factory was born after British entrepreneur Thomas Constant (Industrial Design and Technology, 2018) received a School Design Award at the University for the initial concept in 2018. A year later, the company successfully launched on Kickstarter receiving 420% funding. For the past three years The Bug Factory have conducted extensive research through customer data, global trends, retailer interest and market validation.

They are launching its line of environmentally friendly hardware for pet owners across the world. The Bug Factory manufactures eco-growing pods designed for people’s homes that harness insect power to recycle food waste and convert it into pet food and plant fertilizer. The pods are manufactured from recycled British fridge and freezers and aim to empower consumers to create their own affordable, sustainable and continuous source of animal feed while recycling their uneaten fruit. 

Thomas was supported to establish his business by Loughborough Enterprise Network, including receiving funding to setup through the University’s Start-Up Fund, and participating in Loughborough’s graduate startup programme, The Studio, based in University’s business incubator, LUinc.

An image of Thomas Constant smiling whilst sitting a deskThomas Constant (Pictured), CEO and Founder of The Bug Factory, said:

“In the pandemic, pet ownership went through the roof as the country pivoted to working from home and simultaneously, we as a nation have shown an increasing interest in sustainable and environmentally-friendly solutions to our everyday lives. Insects are incredibly sustainable - they use a fraction of the land, energy and resources that traditional livestock do. Our ecosystems provide a constant supply of fresh juicy mealworms perfect for pets and we’re super excited to launch our solution to pet-owners today in the comfort of their own home."

“The Bug Factory products are simply a must-have for anyone who spends far too much money on live pet feed” said Emzotic,

Pet YouTuber and one of the first people to try out the new line continued:

“Having the ability to harvest my own Mealworms has cut my monthly mealworm expenses down from $30 to zero. All I need to do now is throw in some of my suitable scraps, rotate a few trays and enjoy the harvest - would highly recommend!."

The Bug Factory’s products will be rolled out in stores across the UK and the US and available online internationally. This launch comes after an extensive beta testing period conducted on over 400 customers with an array of industry-leading awards on The Bug Factory and Thomas’ roster, including; Innovate UK Awards 21/22, Barclays Bank Entrepreneur of the Year 21/22, Top 30 UK Founders Award and Top Five Global Insect Start-Up Award.

The launch already includes key retailers and stockists for The Bug Factory including industry giant, Pets At Home.

Michael White, Director of The Incubator Shop, said:

“As a retailer of poultry and livestock breeding, we’re hugely excited to introduce The Bug Factory to our customer-base. The product range fits perfectly with the sustainability and self-sufficiency goals of our customers - providing an affordable, eco-friendly source of protein for their birds and animals. The Bug Factory is a much needed solution in today’s economic climate.”

The hardware solution is a closed loop system that turns consumer’s food waste into protein as well as plant fertiliser. The first step is to recycle uneaten fruit and vegetables into The Bug Factory pods, users can then start producing insect protein into their own home and use the insect waste as plant fertiliser.

The Bug Factory describes mealworms as the future of sustainable protein due to the insects using a fraction of the land, energy and resources that traditional livestock use. Mealworms are 54% protein and have a low fat content while being packed full of essential vitamins, providing a fantastic source of protein for poultry, reptiles, wild birds and fish in particular.

Over the next few years, The Bug Factory aims to remove over 125,000,000 kg of CO2 and help hit the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Specifically addressing: Goal 2 ‘zero hunger’, Goal 12 ‘responsible consumption and production’ and Goal 13 ‘climate change’.

Find out more about The Bug Factory process.