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Sittingbourne-based I'm a Celebrity bush-tucker business enjoys TV show bounce

By Aodhan Gregory

A businessman is enjoying the fruits, or rather bugs, of his labour after selling more than 10,000 insect snacks with a board game he launched last year.

Ben Bartlett is hoping to double the sales of his Bushtucker Trial Challenge by Christmas as the public feast their eyes on the latest series of I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here.

The game is based on trials that feature in the popular ITV reality show, in which contestants are tasked to eat foul-looking bugs and insects in return for rewards.

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Gary and Ben Bartlett with their product
Gary and Ben Bartlett with their product

The 24-year-old said the game had been selling like hot cakes. “As soon as the adverts come back on the television promoting the series, we notice our online sales go up immediately,” he said.

“It has grown massively and once the show goes on air we probably sell three or four times what we usually sell during an average day, so our business is doing great.”

The board game, which is officially approved by the show, costs £14.99 and involves players winning stars for munching on crickets and mealworms, which come with the set.

Video: The people of Sittingbourne had a try of some creepy crawleys

As well as the snacks that come with the game, business-savvy Ben, of Borden Lane, has also sold 100,000 “edible novelties”, which he supplies to more than 27 countries.

The young entrepreneur, who works with dad Gary, 50, on the Eurolink estate, also recently made a deal with wholesale giant Hancocks to stock larger sweet retailers with his salt and vinegar crickets, chocolate beetles and scorpion lollies.

“It’s crazy how all this has happened as we didn’t expect it to get this big but it has.

“People have said ‘that’s disgusting’ but we’ve never had complaints.

“People tend to do it for fun and know what they’re getting into.”

The former Westlands pupil is also planning to launch a brand of flavoured vodkas with a creepy crawley twist in the near future.

For more details on the company, visit www.bush-grub.co.uk

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