Nutrition and Food Science major Dahlia Rosen is part of a company called Mitey Bites, with partner and co-founder Vladamiere Perry, an entrepreneurship and marketing major at SUNY Plattsburgh. They started the company in October 2021 and have been working hard on advancing it since. Mitey Bites is a snack food company which will utilize insect powder to create sustainable, delicious, and nutritionally well-rounded snacks.
Mitey Bites was one of the 25 finalist teams that moved forward in a national competition called e-Fest. Rosen stated, “We are going to be competing as the company Mitey Bites, but I will be presenting my research as a key advancement in developing the company. We were selected to compete among 24 other companies, out of 110 applicants from 67 colleges and universities across the nation.”
E-Fest is a three-day undergraduate entrepreneurship competition, which brings together the top 25 teams from a national pool of online business plan submissions. E-Fest features four competitions, professional development workshops, and presentations from prominent business leaders.
Rosen and Perry got the idea for Mitey Bites after learning more about the edible insect industry in comparison to other protein sources. “Animal agriculture is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions,” Rosen stated. Almost every other protein source uses immensely more water per pound of protein than cricket protein does: it only needs one gallon to produce a pound of protein. Crickets are also very nutritious; they are abundant in complete protein, and are packed full of fiber healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Rosen concluded, “It is vital that our food system shifts towards incorporating edible insects, and Mitey Bites hopes to spearhead this transition.”
In the Fall 2023 semester at UVM, Rosen received a grant from the Office of Fellowships, Opportunities, and Undergraduate Research (FOUR) to develop the first product, a cricket-corn chip with a spicy nacho lime flavoring. She did research all semester, and presented her business idea at the Student Research Conference on April 19, 2023.