NEW YORK — Ÿnsect, a French insect protein processor founded in 2011, has entered the United States pet nutrition market through a dog treat product by Seattle-based startup Pure Simple True LLC.

Pure Simple True first launched in 2020 as a “ultra-premium and luxury food brand for dogs.” Now, the direct-to-consumer startup has added Ÿnsect’s Molitor larvae protein to its Bernie’s Tender Medallions dog treat line.

“We are very pleased to launch with Bernie’s our first insect-based product in the USA,” said Antoine Hubert, chief executive officer of Ÿnsect. “Insects are not only a sustainable solution to feed the world, but also a high-value ingredient for pet health. Independent studies have shown that mealworm protein is highly digestible (with an 86% peptic digestibility), hypoallergenic and can even decrease skin diseases. This collaboration is another important step in Ÿnsect’s US strategy.”

According to global market research firm Emerton, more than 50% of pet owners in the United States accept insect-based pet food, Ÿnsect cited.

Ÿnsect also shared Pure Simple True controls its own production and supply chain, which is somewhat unique for an exclusively e-commerce pet nutrition brand. The company operates Bernie’s Cookhouse in the Seattle industrial district, which features retort equipment for wet pet foods and an order fulfillment center. The company’s coastal location also provides access to key seafood ingredients.

"Pet parents are increasingly expecting highly nutritious and sustainable products for their companion animals,” said Jean-François Herve, chief executive officer of Pure Simple True. “At Pure Simple True, LLC we are thrilled to share with Ynsect a commitment to bring to consumers these high-end products. The launch of Tender Medallions is the result of a partnership lead by a common vision of the food system , and a shared vision of a more sustainable nutrition.”

Ÿnsect produces insect protein at its vertical insect farm in France, which was funded in part by roughly $425 million in investments from global funds, banks and organizations. The company uses Molitor and Buffalo mealworms to create its sustainable insect ingredients, which it supplies to companies around the world. These ingredients are applicable for dry and wet pet food and treat applications, are fully traceable and free from antibiotics.

The specific Molitor larvae protein used in Bernie’s Tender Medallions includes 72% protein, 4% ash and naturally occurring peptides. The ingredient is hypoallergenic and is highly digestible, according to Ÿnsect.

The supplier’s vertical farm approach allows the company to be carbon-negative across its value chain. According to Ÿnsect, insect protein requires 98% less land and 45% fewer resources compared to traditional livestock farming, making it an up-and-coming sustainable protein alternative that is being seen increasingly in the North American pet food and treat space.

The Bernie’s line by Pure Simple True features human-grade, whole-food diets and bone broth packaged in recycled glass jars and bottles. The company formulates with sustainable ingredients including protein sourced from Wild Alaska Pollock, grass-fed beef liver, Marine Sustainability Coalition (MSC) certified cod liver and mealworms.

Read more about new pet food and treat products.