Behind the Brand
Human Improvement was founded in 2019. Josh and Derek met as former executives at the health and wellness company, dosist, where they worked to destigmatize and normalize the consumption of cannabis. They were able to witness the dramatic perspective shift on cannabis over the span of several years, and Josh was inspired to initiate the same transformation in another nascent category: insects. Earlier that year, Josh had been working with an innovation lab and looking into the alternative protein space when he discovered crickets as a nutrient-dense and sustainable protein source. Recognizing clear parallels between the cannabis industry and the insect industry, Josh saw a massive opportunity to make insects more approachable.
They looked at other brands in the space and quickly realized they could differentiate themselves through storytelling. The co-founders developed colorful and attractive packaging for their bloat-free cricket-based protein powder — a huge contrast from the giant black and white tubs of protein powder found on supermarket shelves — and ensured their packaging told the story about the ingredients inside. They acquired a Canadian company called Crik Nutrition, which sold cricket powder in bulk, and relocated that business to the US. They then hired one of the formulators from plant nutrition company Moon Juice to help with product development. Finally, Josh and Derek decided to put their protein into recyclable and single-serve packaging, resulting in 90% less plastic waste. Human Improvement was launched direct-to-consumer at the peak of the COVID pandemic, but that didn’t stop it from piquing the curiosity of consumers. The novel concept was a hit and today, the Human Improvement team continues to relay the great health and environmental benefits of cricket consumption through their industry-first protein powders.