Sabra Dipping Co., the venture between PepsiCo and Israel’s Strauss Group, has filed a petition in the US to establish standards for hummus.
The business leads the growing hummus category in the US. However, Sabra argues products are on sale using the word ‘hummus’ that should not be allowed to use the term.
“As the popularity of hummus has soared in the United States over the past decade, the name has been applied to items consisting primarily of other ingredients. From black beans and white beans to lentils, soybeans, and navy beans, everyone wants to call their dip hummus,” Tulin Tuzel, Sabra’s chief technology officer, said. “This truly does cause confusion for retailers and consumers in what is still an emerging food category.”
According to the 11-page petition, hummus must be comprised – by weight, besides water – predominantly of chickpeas, and must be no less than 5% tahini.
“A food item that is not made of chickpeas is not hummus,” Sabra CEO Ronen Zohar said.
Sabra defines hummus as “the semi-solid food prepared from mixing cooked, dehydrated, or dried chickpeas and tahini with one or more optional ingredients”.
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Tuzel insisted a move to introduce standards would “benefit the entire category”.
Click here for our interview in March with Strauss Group CFO Shahar Florence, in which he discusses the company’s plans to grow, including the dips business.