By: Dror Tamir

Hargol FoodTech

Hargol developed an innovative technology for commercial scale production of a healthier and more sustainable alternative protein based on grasshoppers. Hargol won multiple awards and commercially producing and cooperates with global brands


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Minimum investment: $40,000
Stage:Round A
Category:Food & Agro
•  Overfunding - Over 100%    
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Campaign Highlights

High-quality and healthy protein in an advanced production method


Global demand for protein is expected to double by 2050, while existing protein sources reach their potential. Along with growing tendency of customers to consume better protein, healthier for them and environment, many companies develop alternative protein sources, including plant-based protein, algae protein, and cultured meat. Those new alternative suffer from their own limitations while grasshopper protein is the healthiest and most efficient protein nature can provide. It is healthier for human beings, has lower environmental footprint, and holds the highest production efficiency among all options existing nowadays. Moreover, the tremendous natural production efficiency, and the minimal environmental impact, with no genetic intervention whatsoever, demonstrates that this isn’t just a high-quality solution but also a sustainable, low-cost and scalable solution.



Large-scale market and simple integration in food products, including Kosher products

Food producers around the world seek the “new meat” to meet consumers demand for healthier food, with minimal processing, and a lower environmental footprint. The nutrient rich protein ingredient supplied by grasshoppers serves that demand perfectly: the almost neutral smell and the taste of the product, with no special processing enables an easy integration within multiple food and beverages products by basic blending, as already happening in fact in a variety of products, from nutritional supplements, through sports applications and up to meat replacement products made by global companies, such as PepsiCo, Carrefour and Ikea, all are already integrating insect protein in their products today. Furthermore, Grasshoppers are the only insect which is recognized as Kosher for Jewish and Halal for Muslims, and Hargol is the first and the only company in the world that received a Kosher permit for its facilities and products.

Moreover, grasshoppers have already an existing market – They are the most eaten insect worldwide and are part of the diet of 1 billion people in Asia, Africa, Central America and the Middle East. They are considered as a delicacy and have high demand and prices.



Partnerships with leading food companies and a first of its kind assembly line

Hargol has developed advanced technologies which are integrated in the company’s three production sites, including a climate controlled environment for year-round production, an accelerated egg incubation process that increases the number of farming cycles from 1 to 10 per year, and an innovative vertical farming infrastructure that enables a 10-folds increase of the produced per square meter. Moreover, the company meets the regulatory demands for food production (Grass, HACCP, GMO, ISO) in multiple countries worldwide, including the U.S., Australia and Mexico which allow an import of the ingredient from Israel. All these, have led the company to significant commercial breakthroughs, including a partnership contract with Tnuva to develop a line of sports applications based on grasshopper protein. In addition, the company is already engaged in several pilots with global brands such as Coca Cola (U.S.), Nestle (Europe) and Bright Food (China).




Global recognition and investment alongside international VCs

Hargol FoodTech has won dozens of international innovation and impact competitions, participated in the prestigious Accelerators of the agriculture giant Alltech and X-Europe, and received exposure in hundreds of articles in the global media. Furthermore, the company has raised significant sums from investors and VCs in Israel and around the world. The company's first investor is the Trendlines group - the leading incubator in Israel that invests in early-stage agricultural ventures, and Agriline, which is part of the serial investor Vincent Tchenguiz’s group. Other significant investors are the Singapore-based Sirius fund, which invests in future foods; and SLJ from the Netherlands, owned by Rene Dahan, former chairman of ExxonMobil.




The Idea

Protein is essential for nourishing the human body and plays an important role in many bodily processes: building cells and tissue, building muscle, producing enzymes, brain development, strengthening the immune system (antibodies), carrying oxygen in our blood, hormonal regulation and more. Poor protein intake can lead to a wide range of diseases, including endocrine problems, immune system damage, fertility problems, loss of muscle, skin elasticity damage, fatigue, hair loss, developmental impairment and, in severe cases, death. The World Health Organization recommends the consumption of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for adults and at least twice that for children and babies.

Nevertheless, one of the main problems of the developing world is the lack of high-quality and accessible proteins, especially animal-based protein. Therefore, about 1 billion of people in the developing world suffer from protein deficiency, leading to a variety of diseases and symptoms.


The need

Global demand for protein is expected to  double in the upcoming decades, while existing protein sources have reached their potential, having detrimental Environmental impact and not being healthy enough for us. Today there is a race to develop alternative protein sources that will be healthier, more sustainable and be able to feed the rapidly growing human population. However, these new alternatives suffer from significant limitations. For example:

  • Pea protein: Heavy processing and distinct flavor and taste.
  • Meat protein: Detrimental environmental impact
  • Algae protein: Distinct tase, limiting their integration in additional food products.
  • Cultured meat: Expensive and heavy energy consumption

Alongside these resources, exists another completely natural, low-cost protein source, which does not consume a significant amount of energy, have almost neutral taste an flavor, enable easy integration into food products, has a natural high-quality nutrient content and provide  long list of health benefits – grasshoppers.



The solution

Grasshoppers are an effective protein source, but today their supply comes from wild gathering, which is limited to a very short season of 4-6 weeks a year.


Hargol FoodTech is the only company in the world that has been able to successfully establish grasshopper farms in which with year-round commercial scale production. This groundbreaking achievement changes the face of world nutrition by providing high quality, healthy, available protein on a commercial scale, and with minimal impact on the environment. Hargol FoodTech already reached a POC showing grasshoppers have the potential to become the most efficient animal base protein.

Grasshoppers are the most effective protein that nature can produce: They are healthier for humans (72% protein with no processing), contain all essential amino and fatty acids, and other essential minerals and vitamins.

All leading to the fact that onlty three table spoons of grasshoppers-based protein powder, is sufficient for all the recommended daily protein consumption for an adult.


In addition, grasshoppers are 20 times more efficient to produce than cattle. Their growth requires small amounts of water, food and growing space, they emit 99% lese GHG and they are 100% exploitable when compared with cows (less than 50%), so there is no waste during the process at all, and the amount of protein produced out of them is 8 times greater than the biomass produced!

All these advantage turn the production of grasshoppers to an affordable, high-quality and sustainable solution, and with Hargol’s advanced technology they can be produced in exceptional volumes, with quick scale up and be integrated within a variety of food products.  



The technology

Hargol FoodTech develops technologies and methods for industrialized production of alternative protein from grasshoppers, all embedded in the company’s three production sites that started operating from the beginning of 2020. The Company's major developments include:

  • A controlled environment with ideal conditions for cultivating grasshoppers at a high and constant quality throughout the year.
  • Accelerated incubation of the eggs, whereby the natural 40-week incubation period is reduced to only 2 weeks, allowing to increase the number of cycles per year from 1 to more than 10.
  • Unique cage infrastructure for vertical agriculture (growing to height), which increases production per square meter 10-folds, and allows full control of the humidity levels and regular evacuation of feces for maximum sanitation, and a clean and sterile production environment.


In parallel, the company keeps on developing and improving its products. Hargol has already achieved a POC for the following technologies, which will be patent protected:

  • Development of improved novel breeds through cross breeding – The first breed, Blondie, that is 30% more efficient to produce vs. wild grasshoppers is ready for mass production.
  • Development of dry feed, instead of fresh feed, thus reducing the feed cost by 97%, the manpower cost by 50% and enabling a transition to full automation of the production processes.
  • Development of advanced processing technologies, adding functionality to the product. The company has completed the development of a prototype, enabling the processing of grasshoppers into a functional powder that serves as a high-quality protein shake for athlets.

The company's developments make the rearing of grasshoppers efficient and can be replicated quickly in large volumes under various climate conditions, so they can be integrated in a wide range of food products and industries around the world.




The Benefits of Grasshopper Protein over Other Protein Sources

  • Superior nutritional content - Grasshoppers contain more protein than other insects, 15% more than crickets and 40% more than mealworms and flies, and less than 1/3 the amount of fat compared to other insects.
  • Grasshopper protein is better absorbed in the body than other animal and plant sources (meat, soy, seaweed etc.).
  • Minimal processing - Due to the high protein content, no further processing (extraction and separation) of the ingredient is needed, compared to the processing required for other insects, or plant-based protein.
  • Flavors and taste of the grasshoppers are almost neutral, while other insects have dominant tastes and smell and thus pose a challenge to the food industry.
  • The grasshopper protein is the only Kosher and Halal approved insect. This is a significant marketing advantage in the US and Europe, where Kosher food is perceived as healthier and cleaner. Furthermore, Hargol is the first company in the world to obtain a Kosher certificate for its products, which enables their integration as a nutritional supplement in a wide range of products.

Hargol in the media


Channel 13 article

The Watchman








Dror Tamir
Dror Tamir is a serial food and nutrition entrepreneur with one exit under his belt, and winning dozens of international innovation awards. Dror has held varied positions within several Israeli and international companies over the last 28 years, after a career at the Israeli Navy Budget Department. Before founding Hargol FoodTech, Dror was the founder of Plate my Meal – a startup company engaged in development, manufacturing and marketing of healthy eating materials sold in Israel and in the U.S. Furthermore, he was one of the founders of Cooking with Tami – a company dedicated to clean cooking.

  • Founder
Chanan Aviv
Chanan has been Growing & breeding insects and livestock for 30 years. He is known in Israel as an “insects magician” with abilities to acclimatize, develop and grow a wide range of insects in climate-controlled environments and in large scale. Chanan has been working and developing edible insects and other beneficial insects to support the growing entomophagy movement and other mankind needs. Chanan holds a degree in Animal Science from HUJI Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

  • Founder
Ben Friedman
Ben Friedman is serial Agriculture, Food & Nutrition entrepreneur. His passion is bettering the world hunger & improving the health of children. Ben has held varied executive positions within several International & Israeli companies over the last 20 years. - Over 16 years’ experience in strategic operations management - Ben holds a Master of Science from New York University - CEO & Founder at Haozer & Houser, a consultancy firm helping startups, SMB‘s and mid-market companies optimize their use of resources by providing business solutions integrated with industry leading management and related tools & services. - Director of International Innovation at Eurasian Business Union, a member of American Friends of Rabin Medical Center, Honored Member of Continental Who‘s Who, and volunteer at American Israel Friendship League.

  • Founder
Bentzi Elisha
Over 25 years of senior management experience as a VP of Marketing and CEO at leading companies from the food industry

  • Chairman of the Board

Financial data

The Deal




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