Zipair becomes the first Japanese airline to put crickets on the menu

NARITA, Chiba Prefecture–Café? Tea? Crickets?

That might not be too far off from what flight attendants are demanding on future flights from a budget airline that has become the first in Japan to offer cricket-based meals in the name of sustainability. .

Zipair Tokyo Inc. began taking reservations on July 1 for its new onboard specialties made from crickets, which are a rich source of protein and other nutrients.

One of the dishes on offer includes a chili burger topped with tomato, while another features pasta pescatore. Both will be served for 1,500 yen ($11).

To prepare these dishes, colon crickets are ground into gryllus powder, which is then mixed with tomato sauce, or a burger patty and bread. Crickets give dishes “an appetizing flavor resembling shellfish shells,” according to Zipair planning and marketing officials.

Narita-headquartered Zipair has partnered with Gryllus Inc., a Tokushima University-affiliated company that produces edible crickets in Naruto, Tokushima Prefecture, to develop unique dishes.

By promoting cricket foods, Zipair seeks not only to ensure food sustainability and food health, but also to contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to Gryllus, no Japanese airline has ever offered cricket dishes before.

Passengers can make meal reservations on international flights connecting Japan’s Narita Airport with Bangkok, Singapore, Honolulu and Los Angeles.

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