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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Israeli hummus taking US by storm

Sabra Hummus

Wall Street Journal reports rise in chickpea spread sales in America, led by Sabra Dipping Co. – joint venture of PepsiCo and Israel’s Strauss Group

Hummus is “moving up” in the United States, along with the leading manufacturer of the chickpea spread, Sabra Dipping Co., a joint venture of Pepsico and Israel’s Strauss Group, the Wall Street Journal says.
A report titled “Hummus is conquering America,” defines the popular Middle Eastern food as a chickpea dip which is low in fat and high in protein, and is earning a growing following among Americans seeking more-healthful snacks.
According to the WSJ, market-research firm Information Resources Inc. reported that sales of “refrigerated flavored spreads” – a segment dominated by hummus – totaled $530 million at US food retailers in 2012, up 11% from a year earlier and a 25% jump over 2010.
Sabra’s hummus sales were estimated at about $315 million last year, and the company wants to cultivate a commercial crop in Virginia to reduce its dependence on the legume’s main US growing region – the Pacific Northwest – and to identify new chickpea varieties for its dips and spreads.
For Sabra, which makes hummus at a plant near Richmond, Va., a secondary source of supplies could help protect the company if a chickpea shortage occurred because of crop failures in Washington or Idaho, the WSJ says. Sourcing chickpeas locally also would lower its shipping costs.