Well, the demand for hummus is apparently on the rise! Research shows that the growth of the hummus and chickpea markets has been booming!  According to Wall Street Journal, “Sales of refrigerated flavored spreads—a segment dominated

by hummus—totaled $530 million at U.S. food retailers last year, up 11% from a year earlier and a 25% jump over 2010.”  More specifically, “last year's U.S. harvest of chickpeas totaled a record 332 million pounds, up 51% from the previous year, according to the USDA.”

Took a while for people to jump on the hummus bandwagon!  Hummus has been a staple of my diet since I was a little girl.

What Is Humus?

Hummus is basically a dip or spread made of mashed chickpeas.  It is a very customary Middle Eastern dish and is an ever-present snack in Middle Eastern households.

What Role Does Sabra Play in This New Hummus Craze?

Sabra is America’s top producer of hummus.  Because of Sabra’s success, in 2008, PepsiCo bought a 50% stake in Sabra.  Sabra makes their hummus at a plant near Richmond, Va.  The chief technology officer of Sabra named Tulin Tuzel believes that Sabra needs to find ways to fulfill their growing demand.  Thus, according to Wall Street Journal, on Tuesday Sabra will “announce an $86 million expansion of its hummus plant near Richmond to help meet demand.”  They also anticipate the addition of “140 jobs to the facility, which currently employs about 360, over the next few years.”

Tobacco Farmers Producing Chickpeas Instead of Tobacco:

According to Wall Street Journal, “tobacco farming has shrunk dramatically since the 1990s because of declining cigarette sales.”  Many of the tobacco farms are located in Virginia.  Therefore, Virginia officials are enthusiastic that growing chickpeas in Virginia will fill the void of the declining cigarette sales.

I’m no farming genius, but I can’t help but wonder if the tobacco fields still carry carcinogen substances in their soil from growing the tobacco.  Smoked chickpeas anyone?

Time to invest in Sabra perhaps?